Email is a certifiable time suck, but unless you’re blessed with a personal assistant—or live in a cave sans Wi-Fi—it’s also pretty necessary. Smart Reply is a feature for Google’s Inbox app that takes basic correspondence off of users’ to-do lists by letting their devices reply for them. The machine learning system processes individual words from an email and produces an encoded “thought vector”—basically a list of numbers—which it then synthesizes back into a series of predicted responses (grammatically correct, of course, but also designed to read like a real live person might). It’s some next-level communication built on tech that’s evolving at a rapid clip, with more advances to come.
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