Nov 06, 2015

    Google Inbox's new feature can write e-mail replies for you

    BOGGED down by too many e-mail messages and can't reply to all of them? Well, users of Google's Inbox e-mail app can soon look forward to automated e-mail replies on their mobile devices.

    Smart Reply is the name of this new feature of Google Inbox. It is meant to make replying e-mail messages on mobile devices more effortless and less time-consuming.

    According to a blog post by Google software engineer Balint Miklos, Smart Reply will suggest up to three replies based on the received e-mail messages.

    For a subset of e-mail messages that need a "quick response", Smart Reply can take over completely, saving the Inbox user both effort and time needed to craft a reply. For those e-mail messages that require more thought, Smart Reply is touted to give the Inbox user a head start in crafting a response.

    Smart Reply is a heavyweight under its hood; it relies on machine learning to filter out e-mail messages that require responses and responds with natural language replies dynamically.

    The Smart Reply System is powered by "a pair of recurrent neural networks, one used to encode the incoming e-mail message and one to predict possible responses", said Google.

    With regular use, Smart Reply improves itself, based on the responses selected or ignored by the Inbox user.

    Google Inbox was released to the public late last year. With its cross-platform reach, Inbox is said to help users better manage their e-mail messages and unclutter incoming mails with its Bundles feature.

    Users of Google Inbox can look out for Smart Reply later this week as it will be released on Google Play and the Apple App Store. There's no news if a Windows Phone version will be made available.