New Google Feature Automatically Replies to Messages

January 6, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. dub / dʌb / (v.) – to give a name to something
Example: The popular young actress was dubbed as America’s Sweetheart.

2. automated / ˈɔ təˌmeɪtɪd / (adj.) – working without human assistance
Example: The automated program generates data every 30th of the month.

3. customize / ˈkʌs təˌmaɪz / (v.) – to create based on personal preference
Example: You can customize your mobile phone cases at this shop.

4. intended / ɪnˈtɛn dɪd / (adj.) – planned or following the original purpose
Example: Your intended meaning can be misinterpreted when expressed over e-mail.

5. suite / swit / (n.) – several things that form a collection or set
Example: I’m using the newest photo editing software suite


Read the text below.
A recent Google update, dubbed Smart Reply, brings automated responding to a whole new level.

The company announced a new feature that can let people reply to e-mails without having to manually create a new message. This is one of Google’s products that involves artificial intelligence taking over humans’ tasks.

Google product management director Alex Gawley said that this new technology is created to automatically customize e-mail responses. According to him, this feature can determine which e-mails need immediate responses.

Gawley also mentioned that Smart Reply does not provide a database of canned responses because it really “reads” the message and judges the most appropriate response for it. It can also identify what tone and content to use for a specific message a user receives. The system will provide three different responses composed of three to six words each, with the same thought and intended meaning. A user can then choose the best response. So far, the feature has 20,000 different responses to offer.

The tech giant expects the new feature to be a hit among users who often use smartphones with smaller, touchscreen keyboards. The system is available to customers using the free version of Inbox, which Google released last year. It is also available to firms subscribed to Google’s suite of applications for work.

Google released Smart Reply to its consumers in November 2015. The company plans to improve the feature’s ability to create customized appropriate responses by analyzing the data from people who are already using the system.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you be interested in using this technology? Why or why not?
·         What could be the possible risks of using Smart Reply?

Discussion B

·         What recently-launched software or application has made a positive impact on your life?
·         If you could improve any existing software or application that you use, how would you do it?

January 6, 2016