Google is using its machine learning prowess to respond to emails for you. The company’s Smart Reply feature (which debuted on its Inbox email app back in 2015 and is also available on Android Wear and Allo) is coming to Gmail on iOS and Android, as announced by CEO Sundar Pichai on stage at Google I/O this year.
Smart Reply scans the text of an incoming message, and suggests three basic responses the user can tweak and send. The feature is rolling out in English first, and will be available in Spanish “in the coming weeks,” with other languages to follow.
— Google (@Google) May 17, 2017
The feature works by using neural networks trained to analyze messages and convert them into numerical codes that represent their meaning. Similar messages generate similar codes, so the phrase “Hey, how’s it going?” might come out as 11100110, while “How’s it going, buddy?” is 11100011. The system then reads these numbers to offer a reply from a library of responses. Using this code system is quicker, says Google.
The company says Smart Reply will adapt to users’ verbal idiosyncrasies over time. “So if you’re more of a ‘thanks!’ than a ‘thanks.’ person, we’ll suggest the response that’s, well, more you!” it says. Google also promises that no humans ever sees the context of your messages, and that personalization data never leaves your device.
Source: The Verge