Smart Reply not smart enough? Desktop Gmail users can soon opt out

spam making comeback macbook gmail on bed night

After users complained that Gmail’s Smart Reply wasn’t so smart, Google announced that it will soon give desktop users the ability to disable the A.I.-based feature. Although the time-saving feature relies on artificial intelligence to come up with short responses based on the context of the email message, users complained that early iterations of Smart Reply frequently offered suggestions that were either not very useful or not appropriate. Early iterations of Smart Reply often suggested “I love you” and “Sent from my iPhone” as possible responses to email messages.

Despite complaints, Smart Reply appears to be catching on. The Wall Street Journal reported that Smart Reply was used on more than 10 percent of all sent Gmail messages, which is a huge number considering that Gmail counts more than 1 billion users. The Journal also noted that in the coming weeks, Google will provide desktop Gmail users with the option of opting out of Smart Reply altogether. Google already offers users of the Gmail app the ability to turn it off.

Although Smart Reply only launched earlier this year alongside Google’s big Gmail redesign, the feature was present for about a year before that for Gmail users who used the Inbox service. Google claimed that 12 percent of Inbox users had used the smart feature, prompting it to make it available to more users. When Google moved Smart Reply out of Inbox and into Gmail, it said that it changed the algorithms to make the suggestions more natural.

“Based on our examination of the use of Smart Reply in Inbox and our ideas about how humans learn and use language, we have created a new version of Smart Reply for Gmail,” Google wrote on its A.I. research blog at the time. “This version increases the percentage of usable suggestions and is more algorithmically efficient.”

Google claims that by using a bot to scan your messages, it can apply machine learning to improve Smart Reply and make better, more personalized recommendations in the future. And even though suggestions may improve, for group emails, Smart Reply may not be able to discern whether you’ll want to reply to one person or everyone in the email thread.

For users who love the Smart Reply suggestions, Google is looking at ways to bring this capability to other messaging apps in the future on its Android platform.

Smart Home

The C By GE Smart LED Bulbs Work Seamlessly With Google Home

The Smart Light Starter Kit contains a smart lightbulb and a Google Home Mini. For those seeking to try out smart lights in their home, it's a great option and is currently on sale for just $35 through Google.
Smart Home

ConnectSense’s next plug iteration makes a home smart without a hub

The newest smart outlet in the ConnectSense line of smart home products not only provides a dual plug but can also operate independently of a smart home home, allowing users to control devices directly through an app.
Smart Home

One band explores the dystopian downside of smart devices in our homes

A video from Brooklyn-based band Big Data, L1zy portrays a dystopian view of life with voice assistants. Produced by Ghost+Cow Films, the video starts with the happy arrival of a device on the doormat and things go bad quickly.
Computing

3DMark’s Port Royal lets you benchmark ray tracing on Nvidia’s RTX cards

UL is adding another benchmarking utility to its popular 3DMark suite to help gamers measure their graphics card's ray tracing performance. You'll soon be able to measure how Nvidia's RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti stack up.
Computing

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.
Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Computing

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Computing

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.
Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.