Composing emails can sometimes be a tedious process. So, Google is simplifying it with the help of artificial intelligence.
At its I/O developer conference, Google announced a new feature on Gmail: Smart Compose. It makes suggestions on what words and sentences to include via autofill to cut down the time people spend composing emails.
Here's How Smart Compose Works
Smart Compose appears to be an extension of Google's Smart Reply feature that's currently available in various Google services, including Gmail and Allo. These are clickable auto-generated responses created by AI based on a number of factors — the context of the email and the typing habits of the user are taken into consideration, for example, helping individuals respond more quickly to emails, especially ones where a simple "Thank you!" or "Noted" will do.
Smart Compose takes that to another level by potentially allowing the user to compose an entire email with AI. This feature works in the background, so the user can accept or ignore suggestions as they appear. When a good suggestion pops up, simply hit the tab button to add it in. It works for greetings and closings, plus all common phrases in between. To be clear, Google's AI isn't trying to be the next William Shakespeare, but Google hopes that with it, people are able to respond to emails more efficiently.
On top of that, Smart Compose also has the added benefit of avoiding grammatical and spelling errors.
How To Turn On Smart Compose On Gmail
Google says Smart Compose will be rolling out in the next few weeks, but a number of users may be able to try it now. To do so, simply navigate to the Settings menu, and choose "Try the new Gmail." Then go back to Settings, click on General, then tick "experimental access," which will toggle the feature on. G Suite customers will get Smart Compose in the coming months.
The question is whether anyone will find the feature helpful and necessary, and in AI, participation is key. One of the most crucial components of AI is its ability to learn along the way, but it needs someone and something to learn from.
It should be noted that while Smart Compose is a relatively minor addition in the flood of announcements Google made at its I/O keynote, it illustrates Google's continued prowess and larger investment in AI, not to mention its effort to find ways on how to implement that technology into everyday services.