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Google's new feature will reply to emails for you

Google has launched an email feature for Gmail, its web mailing service, that responds automatically to emails on your behalf.

The feature called "smart reply" uses artificial intelligence to scan the email, understand what is being asked, and come up three short answers. The user can then select one and send it with one tap of a button.

"What we realized is on mobile the actions that we take in writing emails are very short and typically very action-orientated," Amit Singh, the president of Google's enterprise business, Google for Work, said at a keynote speech at the Web Summit in Dublin Tuesday.

"And through machine learning we've been able to underhand those actions…and give you multiple choices that you can…respond back to," he added.

The service, available on Google's Inbox for Gmail app, uses this so-called machine learning – where a computer analyses huge amounts of data and continually adapts and improves its responses. Google said that future responses to emails will improve depending on the options you choose or don't choose.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence has been a big area of focus for the world's major technology giants including Apple and Facebook. Earlier today, Facebook said it was trialing a technology that will allow a machine to identify the different aspects of a picture and then answer questions about it.