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Google Messages may soon let you use AI to respond to text messages

Could the new tool end up replacing Smart Reply?

Published onMarch 22, 2023

the google pixel 5a home screen showing a close up of the google search bar
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • A new feature was discovered in the beta version of Google Messages.
  • The feature is believed to be an AI generation tool that will come up with responses to the text messages you receive.
  • It’s possible Google could be planning to replace Smart Reply with this tool.

The Smart Reply feature in Google Messages allows you to quickly send brief replies to the text messages your receive. But what if you get a text that requires a response longer than a “Yep” or “sounds good?” It looks like Google could be working on something that will generate more detailed replies to the texts you get.

An APK teardown — conducted by 9to5Google — of the beta version of Google Messages has revealed a new feature. Found in the composition box, there appears to be a button that uses a sparkle icon similar to the one used by Bard — Google’s ChatGPT rival. This seems to hint that Google may be trying to integrate an AI feature specifically meant to generate replies.

It’s necessary to point out that an APK teardown looks at lines of code that exist in the latest version of an application. Just because a feature may appear in the code, there’s no guarantee that Google will bring that feature to the public.

According to the outlet, when the feature is used, all that populates in the composition box is “(TODO!).” This suggests that the tool is still early in development. However, it’s likely that the feature will rely on Bard or the technology it’s based on to autofill the field with a complete message.

While this is similar to what Smart Reply does, there are a few differences. One is the fact that the generated message is not sent automatically. Rather it allows the user to read and alter the generated text before it’s sent. It also seems like the tool is meant to generate more in-depth responses. Knowing this, it’s possible Google may be preparing for this tool to eventually replace Smart Reply.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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