Google has announced a new Smart Compose feature is coming to Gmail.
The reveal was made today by Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Google’s annual I/O developer conference, held May 8-10 this year in Mountain View, California.
In a nutshell, Smart Compose taps the wonders of artificial intelligence (AI) to help users formulate drafts, from the beginning to the end. It’s basically like real-time auto-complete for entire emails, with Gmail serving up suggestions as you type.
Anyone already accustomed to predictive keyboards will be familiar with the basic concept behind Smart Compose. It uses historical grammar and typing patterns to guess what it thinks you want to say, and then if you like the suggestion, just hit the tab key to enact it.
Additionally, Smart Compose will also tap contextual cues to make some suggestions. If you’re writing the email on a Friday, for example, it may suggest “Have a nice weekend” as a closing pleasantry.
This new feature will be landing in the consumer version of Gmail “in the coming weeks,” with support for G Suite users arriving later this year.
The news comes just a few weeks after Google unveiled the all-new Gmail, featuring confidential mode, nudges, snooze, and a bunch more notable upgrades. It seems that Smart Compose fits into that upcoming update, meaning that you have to manually opt in by activating the “Try the new Gmail” option in settings and then enabling “experimental access.”
While this won’t be available by default at first, Google previously revealed that it would be pushing all these new Gmail upgrades more proactively in the coming months.