Gmail's Smart Reply Feature Can Soon Be Turned Off by Desktop Users

Gmail's Smart Reply Feature Can Soon Be Turned Off by Desktop Users

Gmail Smart Reply suggests users automated replies to emails

Highlights
  • Gmail introduced Smart Reply earlier this year
  • Option to switch it off was available on apps
  • Now, desktop users will get the option to switch it off as well

Gmail introduced a redesign earlier this year, and one of its notable feature additions was Smart Reply. As the name suggests, the Smart Reply feature automatically suggested relevant reply options for the user, based on the message received. It was welcomed by users initially, but reportedly feedback over the course of time has been mixed. Some suggest that the replies are often not what they want to type as a reply, while some suggest that the tone is not quite correct to their personality. In any case, a new report suggests that the desktop variant will soon get the option to toggle off Smart Reply - in the coming weeks. This is in addition to the already existing toggle on the Gmail mobile apps.

Wall Street Journal reports that the ability to toggle off Smart Reply has already been existing for mobile app users, and now the desktop version will also get it in the coming weeks. The report cites Ajit Varma, director of product management at Google, who claims that already 10 percent of all Gmail responses are generated through Smart Reply. Varma says that responses like 'Sent from my iPhone' and 'I love you' that were a part of the early Smart Reply version, have been removed. He also says that Smart Reply will be more refined over time, and will learn the user's response and give suggestions appropriately. Varma says that the replies are sourced through a library compiled by a Google bot by scanning tonnes of emails.

Even though the report examples various Smart Reply gaffes, Varma maintains that feedback has largely been positive. The new Gmail has been rolling out in phases to many users recently, and by next month, it will be the default interface for all users. For now, the option to switch it off is available only on the Gmail apps, and you can turn it off by heading to Settings > General > Smart Reply.

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Further reading: Gmail, Google
Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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