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Google's 'Smart Reply' Will Answer Emails For You

By Charissa Echavez | Nov 06, 2015 12:13 AM EST

Google's parent company Alphabet is presenting a new email program that determines on your behalf what emails get a short response or prepares a few replies. Dubbed as the "Smart Reply", answering email can now be a tap away.

According to its official blog, a number of suggested responses are prompted on an email. One tap allows users to edit the prepared response, while double tapping will send the message as is. For instance, in a demo showed by the Alphabet, an email that says "Do you have any documentation for how to use the new software?" can have up to three proposed replies: "I don't, sorry," "I will have to look for it" and "I'll send it to you."

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

Gmail's Smart Reply is in response to the problems of email overload. Furthermore, this program relies on machine learning technology; thereby, it will pay close attention to the user's manner of communication so that over time it can respond to emails based on the user's natural language. For instance, in an internal test with Google, "I love you" is a commonly suggested response in the workplace; however, because only few are using this for work-related emails, the program will no longer suggest, "I love you." 

Although this may sound like a good idea to unclutter and make life faster, some experts worry about privacy issues as Google scans for ads and reminds users to pay bills. Later this week, the program will be presented and will be available both Google Play and App Store in English.

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