Signed, Your Email’s Artificial Intelligence

For a PR pro on the go, the thought of your phone being able to reply briefly and accurately to emails in your ever-expanding inbox sounds like a dream. Thanks to Google’s new artificial intelligence technology, Gmail app users could be one step closer to that reality. And tech users as a whole could be looking at a smarter future in how they interact with their devices and how companies interact with them.

Google recently announced they would be rolling out a new artificial intelligence system that will use what’s called “deep learning” to draft three short response options for your email conversations. By analyzing large amounts of the email conversations across their Gmail service, this system can learn how to respond in three to six words to not only the content of the previous email, but also the tone of the person writing you. Rest assured, your dad’s Popsicle stick jokes might still elicit a “Ha. Very funny.”

The system uses two neural networks, mimicking the capabilities and functionalities of human memory. The first will “remember” the beginning of your email as it’s reading through to the end to determine what is being said, at which point the second steps in to draft a response that makes sense in context.

Google is leading the world in their progress and application of these advanced artificial intelligence systems. Their Google Photos app has been lauded for its accuracy in identifying search terms in your personal photo library, and they just recently open sourced the underlying code to its deep learning engine in an effort to drive the industry forward. Widespread commercial use of these systems isn’t likely to be turning up any time soon, since Google is still five to seven years ahead of the rest of the world. However, that hasn’t stopped Chinese Google-equivalent, Baidu, from taking steps to employ its own artificial intelligence system to target ads on its online services. Though no official data has been released, the company reports “a notable increase in revenue as a result.”

So there may come a time where we will have to start thinking smart, or at least artificially, about how this new technology may once again alter the PR landscape.

Have you used the Gmail app’s artificial intelligence-generated reply yet? Would you use it to reply to work emails? Let us know your thoughts on NST’s Facebook page.