Google Drive Gets Natural Language Processing & Other Tweaks

Not only would anybody be remiss to call Google's obsession with machine learning a pet project at this point, but nobody in the know could say it with a straight face; the technology is making its way into just about every corner of the search giant's empire, and Google Drive is its latest conquest. Google Drive users will now find, as shown in the first GIF image below, that searches conducted in perfectly natural language will be met with an offer to confirm what the system thinks you want to search for. If the system's assumption is correct, running that search will not only net users what they were looking for, but will help Google Drive to perform natural searches more accurately in the future. This is not the only feature to hit Google Drive in the newest update for desktop, of course.

Desktop users of Google Drive will now find another handy feature from Google Search is there to help them; spelling fixes in the search bar. As shown in the second GIF below, if you search for something and happen to misspell your query, Drive will offer up its best guess for what you may have meant to say under the familiar "Did you mean" text. Clicking on the corrected text, if that is what you meant to search, will yield the results you were originally after and, like the natural language search, help the system better prepare for its next encounter with a misspelling.

While these headline features are quite helpful, they aren't all the newest update has to offer for Google Drive users. The service will now allow you to split documents in Google Docs into columns through a formatting option, allowing for different ideas or entirely different subjects to be nicely separated within the same document. Finally, the new features are rounded out by a new behavior wherein Drive will save a backup copy of any file not made in a Google productivity service, such as a Microsoft Word document or PowerPoint Presentation, in its unadulterated form in the revision history of the file, just in case there are any formatting errors in the file's transition to Google's corresponding productivity service. The backend update is rolling out gradually for all desktop users now, with no exact timeline on when mobile users may begin seeing the features.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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