AI Can Generate Charts and Graphs From Human Sentences in Google Sheets

  • 5 July 2017
  • Cas Proffitt

Any post, whitepaper, or presentation benefits from a catchy infographic or chart about the data you’re discussing. Visual elements can greatly increase engagement as well as offer added insight or even a break for the eyes in a wall of text. Charts are every content marketer’s best friend, especially now that data is among the strongest currency.

Due to time or money constraints, it has not always been feasible for companies and workers to generate charts on-demand. Getting a nice graph can mean finding someone who knows how to extract data from your spreadsheets and display it in a meaningful way, then, usually, hiring a graphic designer to make it visually appealing.

Plus, when your data changes, you need new charts, and it can be a vicious (and expensive) cycle.

In short, it can be a pain, especially if you’re not a spreadsheet guru with all of those related commands tattooed behind your eyelids.

Google is making beautiful charts and graphs accessible to everyone with the help of artificial intelligence.

Although Google has always been able to quickly generate aesthetically-pleasing charts at the click of a button, up until now it has always required that a user understand the commands to pull the right data into the chart.

As artificial intelligence grows increasingly accurate with processing natural language–something Google has long been perfecting in their search engine–regular “human” sentences have become a reliable way  to communicate intentions to AIs.

Using this sort of artificial intelligence, Google has given their G Suite product Sheets, which is similar to Microsoft Excel, the ability to create all kinds of charts using spreadsheet data but no commands.

Instead, users can say human-language sentences about what they want. Google provides examples such as”histogram of 2017 customer ratings” or “bar chart for ice cream sales.”

This new AI Sheets function can also suggest charts based on your spreadsheets, but users can ask for exactly what they want as well–from the data included to the type of graph–the way they might speak to a coworker.

To make life even more convenient, Google also helps users keep their graphs up to date in Google Docs and Google Slides. Although they previously offered the ability to update Google-generated graphs in Docs with the click of a button, the new update supports graph updates in Slides as well, so presentations are always up to date.

The implications of using help from artificial intelligence to this end in office work could forever change how we look at the work we do in office suite software. While Google’s AI is helping to generate charts, other companies are generating content that is completely written in human language by AIs that can generate reports at thousands of pages per second.

AIs are quickly becoming proficient in many of the jobs that have previously required humans for every step at the process. And if you believe icon Elon Musk, AIs could be better at pretty much everything than humans by 2030, although many experts disagree.  

Some experts have even proposed that universal basic income (UBI) may become a requirement as the skills of artificial intelligences grow.


Are you worried about AI taking your job? Have you tried the new Sheets features? Let us know in the comments below!



About Cas Proffitt

Cas is a B2B Content Marketer and Brand Consultant who specializes in disruptive technology. She covers topics like artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, and big data, to name a few. Cas is also co-owner of an esports organization and spends much of her time teaching gamers how to make a living doing what they love while bringing positivity to the gaming community.