Google's Help Me Write is rolling out, but who is going to use it?

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 14, 2023

When Google unveiled Bard at its I/O 2023 event, it highlighted a couple of experimental features. Google promised that some users would be able to test these features. Google has dropped the Bard waitlists since then, except for people from Europe, as Bard is still not available there officially. There are ways around this artificial blocking, however.

One of these features, which Google calls Help Me Write, promises to take away the burden of writing emails manually. The main idea behind it is to let the AI write the email for you. All you have to do, is provide instructions to the AI, so that it knows what the email should be about.

Google has started the roll out of the Help Me Write feature in the official Gmail application for Android and iOS. Google Workspaces Lab is only available for English U.S. users at the time, and only users who signed-up for the experiment may start using the AI's help to write emails.

On Gmail, Help Me Write becomes available for these invited users when they select the compose option. There they find the new "Help me write" option, which they need to select. Doing so opens a new text field that users may use to provide the AI with instructions.

The AI responds with a crafted email message, which the Gmail user may edit, delete or send to the selected recipients.

What are the downsides of using Help Me Write?

How to use Google Help Me Write
How to use Google Help Me Write: Explained

While Google's Help Me Write sounds like a useful tool to speed up the composing of emails in Gmail, especially on mobile devices, Gmail users need to be aware of the downsides as well.

Google admits here that the feature is collecting additional data when used. The company writes that it uses and stores the following data if the feature is used:

  • Prompts that the user enters or selects.
  • The text that is generated by the AI.
  • The feedback provided by the user on the generated text.
  • Any text that is modified or refined by the user.
  • Text of "up to four previous email messages" of the thread that "Help Me Write" was used for.

In other words: Google may read and use previous email messages, up to four, and any text that is entered by the user while the feature is enabled.

The data collecting may persuade some users not to try the feature, especially when it comes to business or sensitive email conversations.

Another question that should come up is who Google designed the feature for. The examples that the company gives on the linked support page have one or two lines of instructions, which the AI turns into two short paragraphs of text.

These two paragraphs should be read by the user to make sure that they do not contain errors, e.g., logical errors, or miss details that need to be included. As is the case with all AI interactions that require text input, it may be necessary to refine the input sometimes to get a better result.

All of this takes time and it may be necessary to refine parts of the text, e.g., to add details to it or choose a different wording.

All in all, it may sometimes be faster to write the text manually in the first place, as it gives users more control, and does not grant Google access to the data.

Another aspect that needs to be looked at is whether the produced emails appear genuine to the recipient. An elaborate email expressing interest in getting hired might lead to a very unpleasant face-to-face experience.

Now You: would you use AI to help write emails or other text?

Google's Help Me Write is rolling out, but who is going to use it?
Article Name
Google's Help Me Write is rolling out, but who is going to use it?
Google is rolling out the AI-powered writing feature Help Me Write for Gmail users in the United States who use the Gmail app on Android or iOS.
Ghacks Technology News

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. John G. said on June 15, 2023 at 5:31 pm

    Another brick in the telemetry wall. We are now less clever than our parents were.

  2. owl said on June 15, 2023 at 2:31 am

    After nearly half a century of computer-intensive work, even with my skills, I’m fed up with the ludicrous realities of virtual reality and now returned to a digital detox lifestyle, and enjoy analog everyday life.

    No one likes the impersonal style of a communist society where people are forced to wear like prison uniforms.
    Like music, like painting, even photography, everything is valued for its uniqueness.

    I think it is important to acknowledge your dear message in your own handwriting, and convey it using sealed letters and postcards.
    No one sees the ‘dear value’ in the digital form of e-mail, and it’s just a clerical correspondence.
    The degree of affection is measured by the “means” rather than the “purpose”, and it tends to be treated carelessly.

    Please don’t show interest or sympathy for such rude things.
    We’re just losing our humanity (A boring person inferior to a humanoid).

    1. Anonymous said on June 15, 2023 at 3:45 am

      Humanity disappeared year ago. With the rise of American TV we gradually lost our individuality as we became influenced by the sitcom and accompanying advertising. This is just another step towards ‘sameness for the masses’. If AI leads to world peace and someone finally reversing the population rise, I’m all for it.

      1. owl said on June 15, 2023 at 2:19 pm

        > If AI leads to world peace and someone finally reversing the population rise, I’m all for it.

        I was concerned that values ??like yours would emerge.
        Humanity is a unique characteristic that is an ability based on the sensibility (multiple sensory functions for sensing the external world: visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, olfactory, pain, temperature, pressure, position, vibration, dichotomous, stereoscopic, etc.) that living things (not limited to humans) have. Furthermore, his fuzzy and indecisive personality is also a “symbol of diversity” unique to human nature.
        This unique diversity is what makes it decisively different from AI technology, which distinguishes things digitally (0 or 1).

        In the past, policies for superior (or inferior) elected people based on “eugenics” were widely implemented in the United States, Germany, Northern Europe, Switzerland, Canada, and Japan. In particular, the “German Ethnicity: Aryan Race” ethnic purification policy of the Nazi germany era was inhumane and cruel.

        There is a high possibility that digital values by AI will result in exclusive “purification” (sameness), which is of great concern. I am concerned that such digital technology is dangerous to life and the universe. (analog will die someday, digital will survive, because digital will not deteriorate).

      2. owl said on June 16, 2023 at 4:58 am

        In relation to ethnic purification policy (sameness):
        Present-day Cambodia boasts a long history and culture in Southeast Asia, which is famous for the World Cultural Heritage Sites of Angkor. However, in the early modern period, under the strong rule of Mr. Pol Pot (1975-79), who led the national independence movement, “people who did not actively acclimatize to the Khmer Rouge policies” were repeatedly subjected to forced labor and public executions, not only for themselves but also for their relatives and supporters, who were held jointly and severally responsible. Traces remain in the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, formerly known as “S21”.
        About 1.7 million people, equivalent to a quarter of Cambodia’s population at the time, Unnatural death.
        Nearly 50 years have passed since the tragedy, and the memory of the new generation of the country has faded to such an extent that they “do not know its history.”
        History is precious (what happened in the past will be repeated in the same way in the times to come.) Therefore, it is necessary to hand down the fact that “We learned what happened, and everyone wanted to live”.

        Topics about AI:
        AI drone ‘killed’ human operator, or did it? The machines might not rise just yet | AdGuard news (June 2, 2023)

        About Humanity
        It’s “ephemeral” and that’s why it’s lovely.
        Hence, life is lovely and full of wonder.

  3. Brizon said on June 14, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    You do not improve your own email writing skills or creativity by getting a machine, a mindless imitator, to help generate the email text. AI is a false prophet.

    The “Help me write” system sounds more like it’s primarily purpose is for surveillance, and data harvesting. AI text output is like the collected sewage of ten billion dynasties.

  4. Tom Hawack said on June 14, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    DeepL Write does it : [] and does it quite well though only for British English, American English and German, at this time anyway.

    Google’s Help Me Write? Only within Gmail is it? Anyway, no Gmail, no Google here.

    The concept of a writing assistance? Not quite fond of the very idea. I visited ‘DeepL Write once, by curiosity.
    “Come as you are” says the ad, “Write as you are” as well. Improve by reading, not by a free virtual home teacher who doesn’t help given he does the job. That’s not how you learn nor improve a language.
    The era of digital assistance is bringing this world to idiocy.

  5. Cor Invictus said on June 14, 2023 at 5:48 pm

    Help me God!

    1. Anonymous said on June 15, 2023 at 12:24 am

      When does it stop?
      {Help me God!} – Text by ‘Help Me Write’ © Google, followed by a sponsorship message!

      On the bright side, possibly instructions translated from Chinese will be easier to understand (but will no longer be amusing).

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.