Gmail blocks 100 million spam messages daily with its A.I., Google says

Stock Photo Person Using Email
rawpixel.com/Pexels

Effective spam blocking is yet another thing we can add to the ever-growing list of uses for artificial intelligence.

Via a Google Cloud blog post published Wednesday, February 6, Google announced that it has been using an A.I. platform to further its spam-blocking endeavors with significant results.

The platform, known as TensorFlow, was developed by Google and is “an open-source machine learning (ML) framework.” (ML is a form of artificial intelligence that involves programming machines or programs to carry out tasks relatively independently, by relying on the analysis of data to make their own decisions about how and when to complete such tasks.) While the platform may sound like a new innovation, TensorFlow was actually launched and open-sourced in 2015.

According to Google, TensorFlow is allowing the technology company to block 100 million more spam messages from reaching the inboxes of Gmail users on a daily basis. This is in addition to the 99.9 percent of spam messages Google already claims Gmail blocks.

Google is apparently able to do this because the platform helps Google better detect the following types of harder-to-find spam: Mail from newly created domains, image-based messages, and even messages with hidden embedded content.

Although an extra 100 million spam messages per day sounds like a ridiculously high amount, as The Verge points out, when that number is put in perspective, blocking 100 million spam emails isn’t really very much at all. Especially when the context is, according to Google’s own estimation, that there are 1.5 billion current Gmail users. Spreading out 100 million messages over 1.5 billion users really only gets you roughly “one extra blocked spam email per 10 users.”

But the above caveat doesn’t lessen the overall impact of TensorFlow on blocking spam for Gmail users. Being able to block an additional 100 million messages is still an important achievement, as it suggests that the ML behind TensorFlow helped enhanced Gmail’s spam-blocking functionality as it worked in tandem with Gmail’s rule-based filters.

And TensorFlow’s spam-blocking ML might just continue to improve as time goes on; Google also mentioned in that blog post that the platform’s ML is intended to also help Gmail customize its spam protections for each individual user’s needs.

News

KBIS 2019: LG adds Tovala’s meal platform to its array of smart oven add-ons

LG Electronics USA is launching new partnerships at KBIS 2019, including a new app integration into its smart ovens that will add Tovala's meal delivery and preparation platform. LG also features partnerships with SideChef, Innit, and Drop.
Gaming

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.
Gaming

Get the full PS4 Pro experience. Here's every game you can play in 4K HDR

The PlayStation 4 Pro can play any PS4 game, but a select number of titles have been optimized to take advantage of the platform. Here's a list of every new and upcoming game that will benefit from the PS4 Pro.
Computing

These are the 6 best free antivirus apps to help protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Computing

Microsoft’s Presidents Day Sale cuts price of some Surface laptops by up to $200

It is a great time to save on Windows 10 laptops. Microsoft's retail store is running a sale on some of the best tablets and laptops, cutting pricing by up to $200 on the Surface Laptop 2 and more.
Gaming

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.
Computing

New Chrome feature aimed at preventing websites from blocking Incognito Mode

A new Chrome feature will prevent websites from blocking Chrome users as they browse using Incognito Mode. The feature is supposed to fix a known loophole that allows websites to detect and block those using Incognito Mode.
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Mobile

Need speed? Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem

Qualcomm is preparing for an even faster future: The silicon giant just unveiled a second generation 5G modem for smartphones, promising blistering download speeds as high as 7Gbps.
Mobile

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Photography

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.