Google unveil test for chats with robots

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The said project is going to be called "Reply" and will be available to Android users initially, as per the project's sign-up form.

Google looks set to bring its Smart Reply functionality to other messaging apps. Two years ago, the clever A.I. -powered technology called Smart Reply, which has the ability to automatically create responses to your inbound messages first debuted in Google's email client Inbox.

Smart Reply is an AI-based feature that runs within the app.

It appears Google is working to bring its Smart Reply feature to a variety of messaging apps from third parties, not just its own services such as Allo, Inbox, Assistant, and Gmail.

Google confirmed the experiment is in the works, but wouldn't speak to other details like the team members building Reply at Area 120 or the time to launch.

The Reply app is from Area 120, a group at Google focused on quickly iterated experimental products that the public are able to test. As of now, smart replies aren't shown in notifications, but with Reply, users will be able to send smart replies directly from the notifications list. The invite reads: "You probably get a lot of chat messages".

Your Favorite Chat Apps: Reply works with Hangouts, Allo, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter DMs, and Slack. Here, it offers Smart Replies to your notification and gives responses to questions like "When can you be home?" or "Are you at the restaurant?" The app can go through your calendar and tell others if you're on leave.

For the uninitiated, Smart Reply is Google's clever artificial intelligence-based feature that generates a set of clickable replies based on the context of the message. For example, if a user receives a message like "We're waiting for you!" Reply can make sure to get your attention even when your phone is silent. It should be noted that Reply will only be available on Android for the time being.

The project, like all Area 120 projects, is unrelated to any broader developments at Google - in this case, that means it's not directly tied to Google's messaging efforts.

Google's Area 120, a workshop for experimental products under development at the Mountain View firm, is now testing the new system.