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Gmail is getting AI-powered 'smart compose' to write your emails for you

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You may hear the words 'AI' and experience fear-plagued Terminator-inspired visions of the future. But at Google I/O, for now at least, AI is all about productivity.

At the search giant's annual developer conference it introduced a new feature for its Gmail email service called Smart Compose, which is designed to reduce the number of taps you need to perform to write your messages.

Using machine learning and an understanding of messages you've previously written, Smart Compose will take the context of your text and predict what may be coming next.

AI gets conversational

So, if you were to begin writing the words "My address is", you may see greyed-out text following it that adds the rest of your address; it's then simply a matter of hitting the Enter key to have the phrase completed for you.

Eventually, Google hopes that, based on the context of the recipient and the initial text you enter, you'll be able to just keep tapping away at that Enter key and let the AI fill out your messages for you. Who said the art of conversation was dead?

Smart Compose will appear in the new Gmail for consumers over the next few weeks, and will be made available for G Suite users in the coming months.

Gerald is the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Based out of TechRadar Towers, London, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.

Gerald dreams of the day when he can pop on a VR headset and meet Lawnmower Man-era Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, Pierce doesn't share the dream.