Google Sheets Gets an AI Upgrade

Developed by TensorFlow, Simple ML will be used to create artificial AI models with data points arranged in rows and columns assigning the task.
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Google revealed Simple ML, a new tool that will let users create artificial intelligence models in Google Sheets. Although the tool is now in beta, users can configure the free add-on through a panel on Google Sheets without any code. Google’s open-source AI tech team, TensorFlow, developed this model. 

“Anyone, even people without programming or ML expertise, can experiment and apply some of the power of machine learning to their data in Google Sheets with just a few clicks,” said engineers from the Google team that built this feature. “From small business owners, scientists, and students to business analysts at large corporations, anyone familiar with Google Sheets can make valuable predictions automatically.”

How to use Simple ML?

Users will create a Google Sheets spreadsheet with data points arranged in rows and columns to train AI models with Simple ML and then mention the task they want the latter to complete. The tool will automatically train one or more AI models to perform the given task. Two AI use cases support simple ML at launch. The first involves filling in blank spreadsheet fields, while the second is locating fields with inaccurate data.

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For example, the products that are currently offered in the retailer’s catalogue, together with their associated prices, may be listed in a spreadsheet made using Google Sheets. Simple ML can automatically add missing product prices to the spreadsheet. It creates an AI model that determines what data a blank spreadsheet field should contain by examining the data points already in the file.

The second use case that Simple ML supports is identifying anomalous data points. The add-on can, for example, determine if a snippet of text has been accidentally added to a spreadsheet field that should contain a numerical value. Simple ML detects data anomalies by generating no fewer than 10 AI models that automatically evaluate the accuracy of the information in a spreadsheet. 

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“After a few seconds, once the model has made a prediction, you can explore using the result to improve your business decisions, automate tasks, or make any of the seemingly endless applications that ML enables,” Google’s engineers said. 

Last year, Google incorporated a new model in its Google Sheets that automatically creates formulas depending on the rich context around a target cell. The model uses the data in the target cell’s neighbouring rows and columns and the header row as context. 

Simple ML also includes an array of features that allows users to test the quality of the AI models it creates and offers technical information about them. Additionally, Google’s cloud-based code editor, Colab, designed for machine learning and data science applications, is accessible to users through Simple ML. Google also provides the data-processing tool Connected Sheets, besides Simple ML. It gives users access to the Google Sheets interface for data analysis stored in Google’s BigQuery cloud data repository. The module allows users to manage up to a trillion spreadsheet rows without authoring SQL queries.

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by Vijayalakshmi Anandan

The Deep Learning Curve is a technology-based podcast hosted by Vijayalakshmi Anandan - Video Presenter and Podcaster at Analytics India Magazine. This podcast is the narrator's journey of curiosity and discovery in the world of technology.

Shritama Saha
Shritama is a technology journalist who is keen to learn about AI and analytics play. A graduate in mass communication, she is passionate to explore the influence of data science on fashion, drug development, films, and art.

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