Back in 2014, Google introduced a new platform, known simply as Inbox. It was a totally new alternative to the conventional Gmail, and it continues to exist alongside the standard Gmail today. Google has stated that Inbox is not intended to replace the original interface, but is merely a useful alternative that includes some of Google’s more experimental functionality. As such, new features are added regularly, including integration with other popular online services, such as GitHub and Trello.
The web-based Inbox app is designed to save time and help both consumer and business users navigate their often-overcrowded inboxes more efficiently. To accomplish this, Inbox synchronizes all your email content with the traditional Gmail platform, but uses machine learning to display the most important messages first. Designed with mobile users in mind, Inbox makes it easier to ignore unimportant emails, pin important messages, “unsend” messages within 15 seconds, and “snooze” work-related emails when you’re on holiday.
However, one of the best Inbox features is its extensive use of machine-learning algorithms to better sort your content and reply more efficiently. Among these features is Smart Reply, which generates a list of predefined replies to every email you receive in the form of blue boxes at the bottom of the screen.
Smart Reply Is Coming to Gmail for Android and iOS
Despite Google claiming Inbox to represent the future of email, most business users prefer to stick with the conventional web-based Gmail interface and the Gmail app for Android and iOS devices. However, on May 17, Google started rolling out the Smart Reply feature to the Gmail app as well, allowing users to stick to the conventional interface that they’re likely most used to.
Smart Reply uses Google’s artificial intelligence technology to automatically suggest replies based on the content of the email received. Smart Reply suggests three responses at the bottom of the screen, and you don’t even have to click the reply button. Simply select one of the predefined responses and the app will automatically open a response email with the message included. Of course, you still retain complete control over the contents of your messages, and if you prefer, you don’t need to use the feature at all.
Success “in the wild”
According to Google, messages using the Smart Reply feature already account for 12% of all replies sent, and as the technology improves, this statistic continues to increase. Machine learning uses the same methodology that humans do to learn and use language to make it as efficient as possible. Amazingly, Smart Reply can deliver useful suggestions by analyzing the semantics of an incoming email and even guessing the type of relationship between you and the sender.
Business users often have inboxes chock-full of messages that need only a quick reply, so anything that saves time and helps you dispatch everyday emails more quickly is a welcome change. Best of all, Smart Reply continues to learn over time. If you repeatedly avoid using a particular suggestion, Gmail will come up with more suitable suggestions based on your past activities. For those who have grown comfortable using the regular Gmail app, but still want to be able to take advantage of Google’s cutting-edge AI technology, this latest change presents a welcome step in the right direction.
Damson Cloud works with some of the best-known cloud providers in the industry, including Google. As such, we’re extremely familiar with Google’s ever-evolving set of apps and services. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business can get maximum mileage out of its IT infrastructure.