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Google teases Project Tailwind, an 'AI-first' notebook concept

The notebook is aimed at anyone who "synthesizes information from many different sources."

Published onMay 10, 2023

Google IO 2023 project tailwind

If it’s not clear yet, the theme of this year’s Google I/O event appears to be AI. While there has been plenty of AI products announced, arguably the most exciting reveal was its AI-first notebook concept.

Near the end of his presentation, Senior Director of Product Management at Google Josh Woodward teased a prototype called Project Tailwind. The concept is a notebook that’s aimed at students, but it could really benefit anyone who deals with a lot of text.

As Woodward describes it, the AI notebook is designed to help you learn faster. It is trained on your documents from Google Drive to create a personalized and private AI model.

Like a real notebook, your notes and your sources power Tailwind. How it works is you can simply pick the files from Google Drive, and it effectively creates a personalized and private AI model that has expertise in the information you give it. We’ve been developing this idea with authors like Steven Johnson and testing it at universities.

Reportedly worked on by five engineers at Google, the prototype was at the presentation. Although Woodward didn’t get into the details of the design, he did show a demo of what it’s capable of.

In the demo, Woodward selected a number of computer science history study notes in Google Drive. After submitting those notes to Tailwind, a new page was brought up that included the selected documents and a generated study guide based on the information. The notebook was able to pull out key topics and provide suggested questions. Additionally, Woodward was able to create a glossary of terms for specific topics.

Given that this is just a concept at the moment, it’s unknown if Google will actually launch Project Tailwind in the future. But if it does, it sounds like it would prove to be very handy for writers, researchers, and other professionals.

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