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Friday, June 02, 2017

Google Adds Natural Language to Sheets

This seems to be a one-way interaction, not a conversation.   And how often the system will understand the typed query is unclear.  But it could make simple interactions easier than constructing equations.  Can easily be a skill in a virtual  assistant.   Clearly opens a spreadsheet open to more advanced interactions.  Less need for spreadsheet training.

Google Sprinkles AI on Its Spreadsheets to Automate Away Some Office Work   Want to turn boring numbers into a cool chart? Just ask, and Google’s algorithm will do the rest.
by Tom Simonite  in Technologyreview

In Google’s commercial for its virtual assistant, people ask it to play dance music, videos, and set a timer. A new feature from the search giant that lets you ask questions of its online spreadsheets is less flashy, but it could be the start of something that has a huge impact on how some companies operate.

Instead of creating charts from data the way office drones have done it for decades, you can now simply ask for what you want—for example by typing “histogram of 2017 ice cream sales.” Google’s machine-learning algorithms do the rest.

The new feature joins one introduced last year called Explore that allows you to type phrases such as “what are average sales on Sundays” instead of creating formulas. Together they are an example of advances in machine learning that are transforming office work and the economy. .... " 

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