Gmail Adds New Feature Called “Smart Compose”

gmail smart compose

Gmail have started rolling out the newest addition to its set features. It’s called “Smart Compose” and is meant to complete the sentences you are typing in real time, so you can write your emails faster.

As you may have noticed, Gmail already developed a technology called “Smart Reply”, which lets you reply automatically to certain emails depending on their context. Personally, I’ve quite enjoyed “Smart Reply”, especially when dealing with orders and providers. Sometimes you just need to reply an email with a “thank you”, or “paid up” and with it it’s pretty quick to do so.

“Smart Compose” is different because it will autocomplete your text in real time, as you are writing it. The Google AI Blog shed some light on how this technology works in their article “Using Neural Networks to Write Email”, explaining that predictions are provided on a per-keystroke basis, and ​they are shown in under 100ms, so the user has the perception it is instant. It’s an interesting article worth a read if you are interested in how things work.

Google’s AI will also learn from you. As you continue to use Smart Compose, it will learn about how you communicate and will start adding your most used words and phrases to make text look even more natural. The G Suite Updates Blog explains:

“At launch, it can fill in common phrases and relevant addresses, like that of your home and office; in the future, it will get smarter—learning your most-used greetings.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean manual writing will disappear. Despite all the advancements in this type of technology, the machine isn’t able to auto-complete text using the emotion you want to use. A simple phrase can be written by a human to convey feelings like love, frustration or empathy. These are subtle differences that a machine has yet to learn.

Reactions after the implementation of this feature are varied. Here at we love it, and appreciate it because it really helps saving time, but other people are freaked out by how good the AI is at completing your ​sentences. 

For those people there’s the option of turning it off. Simply go to Gmail’s settings page and then Smart Compose > Writing suggestions off. The main concern is that Google is actually reading your emails, and is sending this information back to its servers.

Do you think using AI to complete your emails is going too far? It’s certainly spooky to a certain level that AI is able to learn so much about you, especially when we take into account that around 25% of the World’s email messages are opened in Gmail.