When Aparna Pappu, vice president and general manager of Google Workspace, spoke at Google I/O on May 10, she laid out a vision for artificial intelligence that helps users wade through their inbox. Pappu showed how generative AI can whisper summaries of long email threads in your ear, pull in relevant data from local files as you salsa together through unread messages, and dip you low to the ground as it suggests insertable text. Welcome to the inbox of the future.
While the specifics of how it'll arrive remain unclear, generative AI is poised to fundamentally alter how people communicate over email. A broader subset of AI, called machine learning, already performs a kind of safety dance long after you've logged off. "Machine learning has been a critical part of what we've used to secure Gmail," Pappu tells WIRED.
A few, errant clicks on a suspicious email can wreak havoc on your security, so how does machine learning help deflect phishing attacks? Neil Kumaran, a product lead at Google who focuses on security, explains that machine learning can look at the phrasing of incoming emails and compare it to past attacks. It can also flag unusual message patterns and sniff out any weirdness emanating from the metadata.
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