'Help me write' AI appears headed for Google Chrome

Already available for Gmail and Google Docs, the feature uses generative AI to compose text for you, a handy option when writer's block knocks.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor

Google Chrome users who'd like some AI-infused assistance when struggling to write blog posts and other communications online could soon be in luck. Google appears to be testing its "Help me write" feature in Chrome with an eye toward an official debut in early 2024. Already accessible in other Google products, "Help me write"  tries to compose text for you based on a description of what you need.

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News of the feature's possible expansion to Chrome comes from unofficial channels via an X post by Chrome expert Leopeva64, as spotted by 9to5Google and Android Police. A Wednesday post by Leopeva64 included a description and screenshots of the "Help me write" option in the latest version of Chrome Canary, an experimental release of the browser with upcoming new features.

One image showed the option appearing in the context-sensitive right-click menu on top of a form to create a Reddit post. However, the feature wasn't yet working. In another post and screenshot, Leopeva64 revealed a new category in Chrome Settings called Experimental AI. Within that category are several new AI-related options, including the one for "Help me write".

To see if I could replicate Leopeva64's discovery, I ran Chrome Canary version 122, the latest version. But I couldn't find the Experimental AI or the "Help me write" option. I asked Leopeva64 how they accessed the new feature in Canary. I was told that it's a bit complicated right now, and that they'd rather keep the tricks used to enable hidden features in Chrome a secret.

Most likely, activating the AI options requires specific experimental flags in the Canary version, though I wasn't able to find the right ones.

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I also asked Google about the new AI features. However, a company spokesperson told me that they weren't able to provide more details about some of these initial experiments for AI in Chrome.

Trying to capture some of the excitement around generative AI, the "Help me write" feature is already part of Gmail, Google Docs, and other Google Workspace products. In Gmail, the option appears at the bottom of the form for composing a new email. Selecting it prompts you to enter a description of the type of email you need, and the AI then generates a draft for your review and fine-tuning.

In Google Docs, the "Help me write" option appears right at the top of a blank, new document. Select the option and then type a description of the text you need. After the draft appears, you can rate it, refine it, and modify it until it's just right.

Chrome users shouldn't have to wait too long to see if and when "Help me write" debuts in the browser. A Google roadmap page on upcoming Chrome releases shows the beta edition of version 122 scheduled for late January and the stable flavor slated for mid February.

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