One of the announcements this week at Google I/O ’17 was the addition of Smart Reply to Gmail. This one-tap feature allows you to reply to an email quickly and without having to type anything in response. It is a feature that has been in Google Inbox for some time now and it appears that users of the Gmail app on Android are starting to see it show up. If you aren’t familiar with Smart Reply, here is how it works at a high level.
Using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, the email you receive is interrogated for information – Is there a question? Is there a date or time? Those kinds of things. If such an item is found in the email, you will see a selection of replies to that question at the bottom of the page. Just tap the appropriate response and a new email pane is opened. Tap send and you are done. That’s it.
Like all of Google’s ML and AI, it is learning constantly but having used it in Inbox and now having used it throughout today in Gmail, you will be pleasantly surprised if you have not used the
feature. It is stunningly good at figuring out the content of an email and giving you appropriate Smart Reply options. The replies can be edited too. You can tap one of the replies to start your formal reply to the email but can add additional text to clarify, etc.
To make sure you get the feature, assure that you have the latest version of the Gmail app on your phone or tablet. The actual enablement of the feature is a server-side change so it may be another few days before everyone sees it. But it is widely rolling out so if you are still waiting, it shouldn’t be much longer.