Announced at Google I/O, soon Gmail will be able to write whole emails for you, with just a few keystrokes. Pulling from your vast Gmail message history, Smart Compose will be able to help you put together an email by suggesting whole phrases when you start typing them.
“Last year, we introduced Smart Reply in Gmail to help you quickly reply to incoming emails. Today, we’re announcing Smart Compose, a new feature powered by artificial intelligence, to help you draft emails from scratch, faster,” Google stated. “Because it operates in the background, you can write an email like you normally would, and Smart Compose will offer suggestions as you type. When you see a suggestion that you like, click the ‘tab’ button to use it.”
At first it seems like it might get in the way, but as Google points out, it operates in the background. Smart Compose just pops up a couple grayed out suggestions as you type, and you don’t even have to interact with them if you don’t want to. If you see something you might want to type out, just hit tab and it’ll pop into the email body.
So here, you can see Jacqueline trying to email her friends about Taco Tuesday, and Gmail basically writes the whole email for her. By pulling from your message history, Google’s predictive engine could have surprisingly accurate suggestions. Or wildly inaccurate suggestions if you don’t use Gmail all that often.
“Smart Compose helps save you time by cutting back on repetitive writing, while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors. It can even suggest relevant contextual phrases,” Google stated. “For example, if it’s Friday it may suggest “Have a great weekend!” as a closing phrase.
Still, it’s a huge leap forward for email composition, and another reason to start using Gmail’s web client instead of Outlook for work. Google plans to roll out Smart Compose to the new Gmail sometime in the coming weeks.
To enable the new Gmail, all you have to do is open up your Gmail inbox, click on the gear icon on the top right corner, then click “Try the new Gmail.” That’s it, you’ll be good to go, ready to try Smart Compose as soon as its available.