Google Will Now Write Email Replies For You

We knew this day would come.

Get ready for your life to feel a bit more like science fiction.

Google announced Tuesday that its Inbox email service will be able to compose simple replies for its users beginning this Thursday. The "Smart Reply" function will predict which of your emails can be answered with a "short reply" and then write and present a few possible responses for you to choose from.

Yes, this is real, and it'll look like this.


Pretty wild, right? A spokeswoman for Google told The Huffington Post that Inbox will get better at predicting the replies you need based on which ones you select.

"For example, when Smart Reply was tested at Google, a common suggestion in the workplace was 'I love you.' Thanks to their feedback, Smart Reply is SFW," Bálint Miklós, a software engineer at Google, wrote in a blog post.
If the whole thing feels a little icky to you -- perhaps because a machine is co-opting a major source of communication that previously required effort and emotion from your squishy human brain -- note that the update is only for Inbox, not Gmail. If you're a Gmail user, you can sign up for Inbox, but you certainly don't have to.
A spokeswoman for Google also confirmed to HuffPost that it'll only work on Inbox's iOS and Android apps -- not the desktop version.

Inbox, which was first introduced last year, is intended to sort through your email and present everything to you in a more convenient way. For example, it can recognize which of your emails are promotions from companies, which are reminders you sent to yourself and so on. Its ability to automatically compose replies is thus something of a natural evolution for a service that's already adept at digesting your messages.

If you use Google services and you're concerned about what the company knows about you, don't forget that the tech giant recently introduced streamlined privacy controls. The rest of us will be over here exalting our glorious Borg Queen.


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