If you’re a Gmail user, Google is taking away your excuse of “forgetting” to respond to important emails. Alongside the redesigned Gmail webmail interface that was announced a few weeks ago, Google is now rolling out a new feature called Nudge, which makes use of artificial intelligence to remind you to respond to emails.
“When your inbox is flooded with emails, some will inevitably slip through the cracks,” Google said of the new feature in a blog post. “Luckily, the new Gmail can help. It will now ‘nudge’ users to reply to emails they may have missed and to follow up on emails for which they haven’t received a response.”
Nudge identifies important emails in your inbox and tells you the number of days ago it was sent and asks if you want to reply, helping you stay productive. For the feature to work, Google uses an artificial intelligence engine to scan your emails. In the past, Google scanned your emails to serve up more personalized ads, but that practice ended last June.
Google still scans your emails today, but it does so for other purposes. By using A.I., Google is able to offer features like Smart Reply, Nudge, and high-priority notifications.
Another way that Google is using A.I. to scan your inbox is to stop spams and scam emails. So while you’re able to turn off features like Nudge and Smart Reply, you cannot disable the scanning entirely because Google uses these scans for security to prevent scam emails from reaching you.
By default, Nudge is enabled for all Gmail and G Suite users. Google isn’t enabling the feature for all users at the same time, so it may take a few days for Nudge to show up in your Gmail. A requirement, however, is that you must have the new Gmail interface enabled. If you haven’t already done this, you can follow our guide on how to get the new Gmail right now.
Here’s how to spot a nudge
Even though nudging is enabled by default, you can disable the feature by going into your Gmail settings. Turning off Nudge won’t turn off Google’s A.I. scan of your inbox, but you won’t see the orange text asking you to respond to emails that Google thinks are important.
After you’ve logged in, go to the Settings cog on the top right side, and click Settings. You’ll be able to enable or disable nudges by toggling the Suggest emails to reply to box or the Suggest emails to follow up on box.
If you prefer to manage your own nudges, you can also utilize Gmail’s Snooze feature.