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New AI-powered Gmail feature can write emails for you

By midian182 · 10 replies
May 9, 2018
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  1. Elon Musk might think AI could lead us toward annihilation, but until that time, artificial intelligence keeps on making our lives easier. At Google’s annual I/O developer conference, the company revealed that the technology will power a new Gmail feature that can write your emails for you, almost.

    Smart Compose lets you quickly draft an email by suggesting words and phrases (via a greyed-out selection) that you might want to use, almost like an advanced version of autocorrect. If you’re happy with what’s suggested, which is based on a user’s style and habits, just hit the tab key to add it to the message.

    “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.”

    Smart Compose builds on the Smart Replies function that was added to the Gmail mobile app last year. That feature offers three quick replies to an email based on its content, so if someone asks if you want to meet somewhere, it might suggest “yes,” “no,” and “maybe.” The system’s machine learning abilities ensure it gets smarter the more it’s used.

    The new feature is rolling out to Gmail in the next few weeks, but you don’t have to wait that long to try it. Simply click the “Try new Gmail” option under settings, then go to the General tab and scroll down and enable “experimental access.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,889   +1,164

    Oh I can just see it now...

    google AI sends an email
    to: your boss
    from: you the employee
    subject: you suck
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,132   +3,553

    You know, with the great movement towards children learning cursive penmanship and the encouragement towards hand written letters, this seems very much out of place. Personally, if life gets to the point that I cannot trust myself to form my own thoughts, words, and sentences I will loose all identity in writing and speaking styles. When you consider how much of our written news is now computer generated and how badly some of it is, this "great development" just goes to verify that quote "Just because we can, doesn't mean we necessarily should".....
    jobeard and seeprime like this.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,742   +1,489

    Well . . . you might actually see full sentences with proper grammar and spelling (making lemonade here).
  5. Catweazle

    Catweazle TS Enthusiast Posts: 53   +37

    It looks like you're writing a letter...
  6. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Maniac Posts: 321   +246

    This is pretty cool and can be very helpful for simple emails (or, if advanced enough, moderately long ones).

    It will also be great for creating essentially 'form' emails. There are probably template options but I've never used them. Most of my business letters are essentially small tweaks to old versions (ex: Closing letters). Templates save an incredible amount of time and I don't see why AI can't help.

    With that said: I would prefer if they make this easy to switch off. Like autocorrect in it's infancy, it can be wrong more often than not. Just allow the users choice rather than hiding it in some secret location.

    @UncleAl: Handwritten letters (and just snailmail in general) are incredibly important. Automation of email won't change any of that. I write plenty of emails for business but if I want something to be important, like a thank you letter, then I send it snailmail.
  7. regiq

    regiq TS Addict Posts: 222   +103

    How come such a lazy species built a civilization..?
  8. merikafyeah

    merikafyeah TS Addict Posts: 164   +116

    Clippy is that you?
  9. merikafyeah

    merikafyeah TS Addict Posts: 164   +116

    Laziness was what led to people using animals to do work.
    Laziness was what led to people using combustion to do work.
    Laziness was what led to people using electricity to do work

    Computers were invented to automate tedious things. Perhaps writing an email "template" is not the most auspicious achievement but I look forward to the day where there is no more tedious labor, only fulfilling endeavors.
  10. Amet Monegro

    Amet Monegro TS Enthusiast Posts: 72   +21

    Skynet sent you an email D:
  11. regiq

    regiq TS Addict Posts: 222   +103

    Just add a significant amount of greed et voila: a civilization ;)

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