Google’s Smart Reply feature, which automatically suggests intelligent responses to incoming messages, has been kicking around in the company’s Inbox email app, as well as Allo and Android Wear, for some time now. At last, it is finally making its way to Gmail on Android and iOS.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the arrival of Smart Reply during the keynote speech at its annual I/O conference. The technology scans the content of messages in your inbox, then uses machine learning to call up three automated responses based on your writing habits. As such, the more you use it, the better it gets at knowing what options to present to you. Smart Reply pays attention to the selections you make, as well as the ones you ignore, for a dynamic experience.
It’s not necessarily just for short, quick responses, either. Tapping on an option places your cursor at the end of the sentence, so you can further elaborate if necessary. Think of it as a jumping off point, rather than a canned auto-reply.
According to Google, 12 percent of responses sent from Inbox are Smart Replies. While Allo and Android Wear also support the feature, all three products are still essentially niche products that don’t serve the wide majority of Google’s customers. With Smart Reply arriving on Gmail, that will all change. After two years of training and tweaking, Google has finally deemed it ready to unleash on the masses.
Smart Reply should roll out to Gmail users over the coming weeks. Initially, only English will be supported, though Spanish will be added shortly after. Initially, the feature will debut only in the mobile app, but don’t consider a web release out of the question — according to a Google spokesperson via VentureBeat, the company is “heavily considering” it as a future feature.
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