If you were under any delusion that the internet is not getting smarter (of course you weren’t) and in particular Google services and products then look no further. You are probably aware of Google Sheets which in brief is Google’s spreadsheet offering. It now seems today Sheets received a decent and interesting add-on. This new addition to Sheets has been dubbed Smart Autofill and in short is a perfect description. This new add-on in its most basic sense will help fill-in incomplete values and information. The most interesting aspect is that the information is not prior-known to Smart Autofill. Google already uses an ‘Auto-fill’ feature (days of the week, dates and number orders) although this information is already ‘understood’ by the software. As a result, the standard Autofill is merely replicating the missing values over and over again in a predictable and expected manner. In contrast the new Smart Autofill analyses the other information within the Sheets file to make educated predictions on what the likely missing values will be.
Now before you all panic that all your Sheet files with missing values will automatically start including these ‘guesses’ then don’t worry. Google have made sure the feature has to be manually activated after installation. If you are interested than once the add-on is installed – select “Add-ons”, followed by “Smart Autofill”, followed by “Start”. At this point a sidebar will pop-up. Now is the time to select the block of data (to be analysed so Google can ‘learn’). Once selected, you can highlight the target column (missing value column) before hitting “Start”. Google…or specifically Smart Autofill will do the rest. So what do you think? Is this a useful feature besides the obvious margin-of-error issues? Will you be using? Or is it just a little too weird for you? No matter what let us know.