A Google feature that uses machine-learning to answer your emails is expanding into the chat space.
In 2015, the search giant announced Smart Reply, which was initially for the company’s email services and later brought to the Google messenger app Allo. The technology works by essentially scanning your incoming messages and crafting up to three suggested responses, which you can then choose from with a click.
The replies can be pretty simple and may include “Got it, thanks!” “Sounds good.” or “Will do.” Nevertheless, the feature can save on time. Last year, Google said Smart Reply drove 12 percent of all replies on its email service Inbox by Gmail.
The company’s experimental workshop Area 120 has decided to bring the same technology to third-party chat apps. The upcoming product is called Reply, and Area 120 is looking for testers, but only on the Android platform for now.
How the technology will work across non-Google products isn’t totally clear. But it’ll function over the notifications that messaging services can generate, according to the email Area 120 sent to test users.
Reply is being designed to work with Google Hangouts, Allo, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Twitter Direct Messages and Slack.
Area 120 also hinted that the product can look up your location and calendar to come up with smarter responses. For instance, it can message how many miles your away from home when a friend asks. In addition, the product will come with a “Do Not Disturb” and a “Vacation responder” option that can automatically reply to friends when you’re busy or on a trip.
Google isn’t discussing details of the project, but the company told TechCrunch: “It’s a very early experiment so there aren’t many details to share right now.”