Google has come up with a way to save you writing out standard email replies in Gmail.
This Thursday the company unveiled the Smart Reply feature for desktop users
. Now you can forget about typing out those little annoying messages – “That’s great. Thanks.” – which end up taking up your precious time.
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Gmail uses artificial intelligence to save you time
If your computer runs Inbox by Gmail, you will have access to Smart Reply. The feature allows users to pick from three prewritten sample replies provided by artificial intelligence, which they can send out as they are or edit to add a more personal touch.
Smart Reply has been available on mobile since last November, and Google says that 10% of replies on mobile are sent using the feature. The feature uses machine-learning to watch how you usually write your own email responses and make its suggested messages sound more and more like you over time.
Right now the feature is only available to those using the Inbox by Gmail app, but it may be rolled out more widely in the future.
Ongoing developments in AI make this an exciting time
During development engineers had to be careful with the amorous system, which seemed intent on sending “I love you” as a reply to almost any message. There are so many situations in which sending a love note could lead to major awkwardness.
Now Google has managed to teach the artificial intelligence system to suggest more realistic responses, while also capturing the tone of the previous messages. Try it out for yourself on Gmail, but be aware that the system will get better the more you use it.
Google continues to work on a number of artificial intelligence projects. This week a piece of computer software built by the company’s AI arm, DeepMind, managed to defeat a human champion at the incredibly complex board game, Go.
The game had been something of a final frontier for AI in beating humans, after IBM’s DeepBlue beat chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. It’s an exciting time for artificial intelligence as more and more uses are found for the technology.