Can Google Automate Your Break-Up?

One man put the Smart Reply email assistant through its paces

Google AI artwork

Google AI artwork

Google is making its powerful artificial intelligence TensorFlow open source so anyone who wants can use it.John Chae

Would you let smart reply bots write the text side of your break up?

That's what Ben Crair did recently, exploring Google's Smart Reply (a feature that, based on context, offers what it thinks are appropriate responses to the emails and messages you receive) as he drafted emails to his father, his ex, and others.

His results were mixed: he found the software sometimes to have the perfect words and sometimes very unexpected ones.

But sometimes Smart Reply was eerily perceptive. I started to respect the service after it identified some paternal wisdom my dad had sent me. “Thanks for the advice,” it suggested — an appropriate-enough answer that I was tempted to pass off as my own.

- New York Magazine

Admittedly, brief replies are the strength of Smart Reply, so it didn't offer drafts of any of the 1,500-word letters we've all taken the time to compose and then delete.

Read the story (and wonder about how your next breakup will go) below.