How Do Google Docs’ New Auto-Generated Summaries Work?

We’ve all been in situations that required making sense of voluminous documents in a short time. Unless the document’s author was generous enough to create a summary, the only way out is to skim through the whole document.

However, if you are a fan of Google Docs, Google is now offering an easy way out. When a document’s author doesn’t offer a summary, Google Docs will now be able to do that automatically through a new feature called Auto-Generated Summaries. Here’s what we know about the feature so far.

What Is Google Docs’ Auto-Generated Summaries?

Auto-Generated Summaries is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an AI-powered document summary feature targeted at Google’s line of Workspace applications. Although the feature had been an open secret for a while, Google only recently gave a clear picture of it during its annual developers’ conference—Google I/O 2022.

According to Google

the feature uses complex machine learning algorithms to extract the key points from documents, which are used to prepare an easy-to-digest summary. Think of all those 25-pages work reports that you never read because they looked too intimidating. Auto-Generated Summaries promise to help document authors break it all down to a bite-sized brief that gives you a holistic view of the entire document.

The new feature is rooted in Google’s rapid advancement in natural language generation, language understanding, and information compression.

How Will Google Docs’ Auto-Generated Summaries Work?

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How Do Google Docs' New Auto-Generated Summaries Work? 2

“Auto-generated Summaries” is not a fully autonomous feature. Although summaries are generated automatically, the author will still remain in full control. Rather than simply generating summaries and filling them up in the summary section of a Google Docs file, the feature will only offer summary suggestions to a document’s author.

The user gets to decide whether a suggestion is kept or not. The author can choose to discard certain suggestions in real-time if it doesn’t adequately reflect the intentions of the author. Alternatively, an author can make necessary edits to suggested summaries before accepting them.

While all Google Docs users will be able to create summaries, summary suggestions are currently available only to Google Workspace business customers. It is not clear when or whether the new feature will be available to all Google doc users. However, Google Docs has other assistive writing features you can take advantage of if you aren’t a Workspace business customer. With them, you can still create beautiful documents with your google drive

Future Plans for Auto-Generated Summaries

Although the feature is debuting publicly on Google Docs, auto-generated summaries will also be coming to other workspace tools like Google chats. This means you’ll be able to conveniently pick up on previous chats without the need to scroll through the whole conversation.

Google says it is also working on bringing a similar feature to Google Meet. After video meetings, a summary of the transcription of all key points raised during a meeting will be available to all participating parties.

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