Google’s Gmail is undoubtedly one of the most popular and commonly-used e-mail services out there – and given Google’s status as one of the largest tech giants of the time, improvements are bound to come one way or another. Part of Gmail’s biggest improvements is its smart compose feature, which apparently comes in the form of an auto-suggest that is exclusive for your e-mails. Just what is the new Gmail smart compose feature?
First, let’s talk history. Gmail is Google’s own take on the growing electronic mail service offerings that other companies such as Yahoo! have been offering in the past. Gmail in itself is free of use, although it supports advertisements in order to provide various revenue streams. Like other e-mail providers, users can not only access Gmail via the web and using its application, users can – with their permission – have Gmail be compatible with various websites and services that rely on e-mails to send news, updates, and conduct their services. Gmail has been initially released to the public way back in 2004 with only 1GB of free e-mail space (which was still higher than offerings at the time).
Now, Gmail has 15 GB of storage, with users capable of sending as large as 25MB of attachments, and e-mails being capable of being as large as 50MB in size. At this point, Gmail has already pegged itself as vastly different compared to its contemporaries. So just what is the Gmail smart compose feature?
Google’s Step Up From Smart Reply
A lot of Google enthusiasts will probably find the Smart Compose quite similar to Google’s previous Smart Reply feature. To the uninitiated, Smart Reply was a recent Gmail feature that allowed Google to sift through an e-mail in order to identify common points of interest and generate replies for you to send.
This allows you to effectively respond to invites or respond to various queries that normally have quite a few responses. An e-mail about a job offer, for instance, may prompt you to reply anything along the lines of “Sure, I’ll accept the offer,” “I’ll think about it,” and “No thank you.”
Smart Compose takes this a step further.
Drafting E-Mails Quicker, Faster
According to the official Google Blog, the new Smart Compose feature was build to allow users to compose e-mails from their opening remarks and closing remarks simply by relying on Google’s algorithm. This means what you normally see when Google predicts your search queries will pretty much be applied to its Gmail feature.
Google said this feature automatically operates in the background, which means that as you write your e-mail on the PC, your compose box will automatically have gray text of suggested options for you to choose. If Smart Compose gives you a statement you like, simply click tab to use it. Google’s tech wizards say that the model observes:
- Latency, as in Smart Compose was built to respond within 100ms of a keystroke, so users wouldn’t generally see any delays.
- Scale, as in Smart Compose will have to be steadily improved to accommodate 1.4-billion users that are writing in different languages.
- Fair and private, as in Smart Compose was developed – and will be developed – with the same scrutiny as Smart Reply. This makes sure the models used won’t provide any private information of the user.
According to Google, the feature was created primarily to save time writing repetitive e-mails. This also reduces a lot of spelling and grammatical errors along the wrong. It’s also pegged to be contextually learning, too. For instance, if you’re writing the e-mail on a Friday, the Smart Compose may eventually suggest a new closing phrase such as “have a great weekend!”
Of course, given that Smart Compose is managed by an AI, it’s not the perfect e-mail prediction system, at least not yet. Perhaps one of the major difficulties Google’s team is currently experiencing is teaching the AI how to “interpret” various phrases and messages into its core algorithm without them being able to see what it’s learning in the first place.
Bring a new system, this also means users who do plan on trying out Smart Compose shouldn’t expect a sophisticated e-mail creation robot they could use to automate their tasks. What they can expect however is a system that tries to make typing much easier for them by giving them suggestions they themselves are thinking about, hence “smart.” This prediction algorithm is expected to improve over time.
The Takeaway: On The Way For Automated E-Mails
A lot of e-mails tend to be constructed in a formal manner because they’re built to emulate snail mails and formal documents. The new smart compose feature of Gmail can help make it much easier for those answering a lot of e-mail form responses that don’t appear too robotic or generic, and just have the right kind of personality to engage the receiver. The new smart compose feature isn’t exactly the most perfect Gmail feature now, but it certainly appears to offer quite the advantage to users.
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