As part of the company’s Q4 2015 earnings report, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company’s massively popular email service Gmail has passed the 1 billion user mark. This is active, monthly users, not just downloads or sporadic users. This means that if you’re a human being reading this news article, then there’s at least a 14 percent chance you’re a Gmail user.
This isn’t the first time a Google service has netted over a billion users. There are six others: Search, Chrome, Android, Google Play, Maps, and YouTube can all boast this claim. There’s no question that Google is a large part of many of our lives, and our handing over this much data to the company is potentially fuelling their artificial intelligence research. AI is increasingly being used in the search giant’s services, including Gmail. In fact, in the same announcement, Pichai revealed that an astounding number of all replies on their email service are written by AI technology.
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Back in November, we covered how Inbox reads your emails and uses AI algorithms to generate “smart replies,” which are canned replies written using your own diction. Apparently, the smart reply system has seen an incredible adoption rate, as 10 percent of all email replies coming from the mobile app are composed this way.
What are your thoughts of Google’s increased role in our lives and the subtle presence of AI technology being integrated with services we use on a daily basis? Is this the prologue of a Terminator franchise or are we on the cusp of a technologically fascinating future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!