Google Experiment Brings Smart Replies Feature To Popular Messaging Apps

by Lawrence Cooper February 14, 2018, 17:55
Google Experiment Brings Smart Replies Feature To Popular Messaging Apps

For the uninitiated, Smart Reply is Google's clever artificial intelligence-based feature that generates a set of clickable replies based on the context of the message. In an email test sent to volunteers, acquired by Android Police, Area 120 says: "You probably get a lot of chat messages". Smart Replies might sound robotic/impersonal at times but are a boon when whipping out your phone to draft a full-fledged text simply isn't an option. It will also have a Do Not Disturb mode that switches on when the user is driving and alert those who message you that you can't chat. For example, if a message like "We're waiting for you!" comes in, Reply can get your attention and ask you to respond.

The email additionally highlights the different messaging platforms that Reply will work with.

The project, simply called "Reply", will allow users who sign up - now available to Android users only - the ability to use "smart replies" in their favorite mainstream chat applications like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Twitter's Direct Message feature, Whatsapp, and Hangouts.

It appears Google is working to bring its Smart Reply feature to a variety of messaging apps from third parties, not just its own services such as Allo, Inbox, Assistant, and Gmail. But the feature has not been made available to all Android Messages users as of yet. Meanwhile, Reply's "Vacation responder" can check a calendar and tell people if you're not working. It seems as though Reply is able to do this by recognizing the user's current location.

Reply will also be capable of breaking through users' phone's silent mode in case of an emergency or urgent messages. The app is now only being offered to Android users as part of a test, which select people have been invited to. Reply will be able to silence users' phone when they are driving, and it will also inform people who send a message that the user can not chat at the moment.

"One of the many projects that we're working on within Area 120 is Reply, which suggests smart replies right in notifications from various chat apps", a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch. "Like all other projects within Area 120, it's a very early experiment so there aren't many details to share right now".

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