One of our favorite productivity suites of 2023 just got a bunch of new AI tools — but they come with a steep price tag

Google Workspace image showing Gemini features in Google Docs imposed on a black background.
(Image credit: Future/Google)

Google Workspace users are set to get their hands on a raft of new AI-powered features aimed at further improving productivity and security.

The highly-popular workplace collaboration software has become a mainstay at organizations globally, and is arguably the most cost-efficient and intuitive platform available for enterprise users, based on ITPro’s review from 2023.

Google first loaded Workspace with AI features in August last year with the integration of its now-defunct Duet AI model, which has since been renamed under the Gemini banner.

Hailed as a potential game changer by the company at the time, Duet integration offered all the staple AI-powered features touted over the last year, such as automated call transcriptions and meeting summaries complete with highlighted ‘action points’.

With the latest changes, AI features will be integrated deeper across the Workspace portfolio, spanning Meet, Docs, Gmail, and Chat.

This includes a new ‘take notes for me’ feature for Meet - currently available in preview - which Google said will enable users to “drop the pen and lean into the conversation instead of taking notes”.

Similarly, the ‘translate for me’ feature, set to arrive in June, will automatically detect and translate captions in Meet. This new function will offer support for up to 69 languages.

Later in 2024, an influx of AI features for Google Chat is also planned. This, the company said, will provide automatic translation of messages and on-demand conversation summaries from the application.

Pricing for these new features will likely be key to the appeal among larger enterprises. Google said these will be made available as an add-on for $10 per user, per month. 

This does represent a significant bump in price given it’s an add-on option, however, meaning smaller firms using Workspace might struggle to see tangible value. The firm said these can be added to “most Workspace plans”.

More AI security features are coming to Google Workspace

A raft of new security and data protection-focused AI features are also set for Workspace, Google revealed. This will also come in the form of an add-on for Workspace which leverages AI to support IT teams to “automatically classify and protect sensitive files” in Google Drive.

This new capability uses “privacy-preserving AI models” trained using internal data to protect both new and existing files.

New Gmail features are also expected, including the extension of DLP controls and classification labels in the email service. This feature is currently in beta, the company added.

Finally, tools to protect against quantum computer-based attacks will also be added to Gmail. Google said this will offer “experimental support for post-quantum cryptography” in client-side encryption.

Do the new Google Workspace features offer anything truly different?

Bobby Hellard, Reviews Editor at ITPro.
Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. 

The emergence of generative AI more than 18 months ago prompted a flurry of activity in the productivity software space, and Google is now firmly locked in a battle of attrition with Microsoft and Slack to differentiate Workspace and its AI features.

On the surface, this appears to be an exciting period for users, who regardless of which provider they go with will be guaranteed powerful new tools to drive productivity and reduce the strain of daily work.

But the reality is that it’s all much the same. All of the aforementioned providers offer roughly the same features, such as meeting summarization, automated call transcription tools, and workflow optimization assistance.

If Google is to truly differentiate itself from Microsoft 365 and Slack, it might need more than just the occasional shiny new features to tempt users to up sticks and leave their long-term provider.

Cost, too, will be another impediment. With Google’s new Gemini-powered Workspace features coming in the form of a pricey add-on, many smaller enterprises might be locked out from a financial perspective.

AI certainly is shaking up the productivity software space, but providers need to tread carefully and avoid scaring prospective business customers away with cumbersome costs.

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

For news pitches, you can contact Ross at, or on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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