Google Calendar ‘Goals’ update uses artificial intelligence to make its users into better people

The tool aims to make it easier for people to improve themselves, by scheduling ‘reading more books, learning a new language, or working out more regularly’, as well as any other regular activity

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 13 April 2016 15:20 BST

Google has introduced a new tool to its Calendar, intended on making its users into better people.

The new tool, called Goals, uses artificial intelligence to help people schedule in time to fulfil their aspirations – including learning new languages and doing exercise.

The feature looks through people’s calendar, finds times when they might be free, and then adds in time for them to do the things that they might not otherwise get to.

When a user opts to add something into their schedule, they pick a specific activity like “work out more” and are then asked a series of questions. Those include how often something needs to happen, and how long it will last. Once all of those are answered, the app will look at the schedule and set a time.

Once they are scheduled in, Google’s algorithms can use their artificial intelligence to ensure that people are still able to make them.

If something comes up and gets in the way of time that had been previously scheduled for meeting a goal, for instance, the app will automatically reschedule the event to another time when its user is free. Or if there isn’t time to meet a goal, it can be deferred and the app will schedule it in again.

The app will then learn from when people tend to defer or complete their goals, and use that information to schedule them better in the future. If someone tends not to be able to finish their goals on Tuesday nights, for instance, but can do them on Thursday mornings, it will try and add future events into that slot.

The new feature, which was introduced to celebrate Google Calendar’s tenth birthday, is available now in the iPhone and Android versions of the app.

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