Useful or creepy? Machine suggest Gmail replies

Useful or creepy? Machine suggest Gmail replies Google is toeing the line between helping you save time and creeping you out as it turns to machines to suggest email replies on your behalf.

The customized auto-responses come in the latest version of Gmail on the web and expand on a feature already available on Android devices and iPhones.

Useful or creepy? Machine suggest Gmail replies

Useful or creepy? Machine suggest Gmail replies, It’s not known, though, how far Google goes in scanning your email. For instance, Gmail scans attachments for security risks, but is it also using that information to customize responses?

The machines behind Google Photos can tell whether an image has food, flowers or the beach. Might Gmail suggest, “How was lunch?” Google didn’t respond to a query for details on what it scans for replies.

They’re just one more example of how artificial intelligence is seeping into everyday online life, whether it’s to tailor product recommendations or correct spelling.

So far the new feature has been drawing mixed responses from users.

How will the new Smart Reply or auto response feature work?

Useful or creepy? Machine suggest Gmail replies

Image: Google

Useful or creepy? Machine suggest Gmail replies

# The new feature, called Smart Reply, offers three short responses, like “It was great seeing you too,” or “I’ll look into it.”

# Unlike standard auto-replies when on vacation, for instance, these are customized to an individual email based on its context.

# If you select one, you can either send it immediately or edit it before sending.

# The responses are automatically created using Google’s artificial intelligence systems.

# Not every email will get suggestions, only those that Google thinks will lend themselves to a short reply. 

# It can help with quick replies that don’t need too much elaboration, so you can have peace of mind quickly and sort out more specific information in a full reply later.

# Smart-reply or auto-responses show a lack of thought. 

# You can turn that off on the phone, but not in the web version without going back to a “classic” version of Gmail.

Humans aren’t reading people’s emails, but machines are scanning them. Although Google stopped scanning email to target advertising in 2017, it still scans them to filter out junk mail, identify phishing scams and, now, to create suggested replies. (Yahoo and AOL, both owned by Verizon, still scan email for advertising.)

Useful or creepy? Machine suggest Gmail replies, Google’s suggestions draw on the text of your email. Google says it doesn’t analyze anything else, like attachments or photos, even though it scans them for security risks.

The analysis can include past conversations. For example, if someone says “Thanks!” more often than “Thanks,” with no exclamation point, the suggested response would likely reflect that.

How to disable the ‘Smart Reply’ feature?

# To disable the ‘Smart Reply’ feature on a mobile device, simply go to ‘Settings’

# Uncheck the box next to ‘Smart Reply’.

# But for now, there’s no way to disable the feature on the web.

# However, users can return to the ‘classic’ version of Gmail on the web by selecting that option under ‘Settings’.

 Conclusion

Suggesting responses isn’t the only way Google uses artificial intelligence to help people manage their emails, as it has been rolling out a new version of Gmail since April.

The new Gmail has ‘Nudges’, a feature that reminds users to reply to emails it deems important. Gmail also prods users who forget to include an attachment to an email that uses the word ‘attached’ or something similar. 

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