Google's Inbox by Gmail Gets Smart Reply Feature

Chris CrumTechnology

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Google announced a new feature for Inbox by Gmail called Smart Reply, which suggests responses to emails you get so you don't have to bother writing them yourself. How cold.

"With the holidays approaching and emails coming in at a furious pace, we can all use a little help. Inbox is already on hand assisting you with the next step, organizing your trips, and even suggesting reminders," says software engineer Bálint Miklós. "But when you're checking email on the go, it can be cumbersome and time-consuming to reply to all or even some of them. What if there was a way for your inbox to guess which emails can be answered with a short reply, prepare a few responses on your behalf and present them to you, one tap away?"

Smart Reply will suggest up to three responses based on your emails.

"For those emails that only need a quick response, it can take care of the thinking and save precious time spent typing," says Miklós. "And for those emails that require a bit more thought, it gives you a jump start so you can respond right away."

The feature utilizes machine learning to recognize emails that "need" responses and generate "natural language" responses. More on the behind the scenes stuff here.

On its recent earnings call, Google talked up machine learning as it increases usage of it across its various product offerings, including search, which has a new machine learning-based ranking signal. That happens to be what Google considers the third most important signal by the way.

You'll find that machines are making more and more decisions in the Google products you use as time goes on.

Smart Reply of course will learn from the responses you use to improve future response suggestions.

Images via Google

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.