File image: Gmail. (Independent UK).
INTERNATIONAL - Google has unveiled a new feature that uses artificial intelligence to alert a user to important emails in its Gmail app. The technology is already in use in the iOS app and can be switched on in the Settings menu.

The AI will sort through emails and determine which ones are the most important. There is also an option to turn off notifications for emails the technology deems unimportant, 9to5mac points out.

'Notifications are only useful if you have time to read them—and if you’re being notified hundreds of times a day, chances are, you don’t,' Google said. 'That’s why we’re introducing a feature that alerts you only when important emails land in your Gmail inbox, so you know when your attention is really required.

These notifications leverage Gmail’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to identify messages you may want to read first.' If the update has not already appeared, the company said users should get it in the next one to two days.

Last month, Google launched a new component called 'Smart Compose' which uses artificial intelligence to draft emails from scratch. The feature builds on last year's Smart Reply, which appeared on the Gmail mobile app last year.

An example of “nudging” in the new Gmail.Picture: Google

As you type a reply to an email, Gmail will now offer suggestions as you type. If you like the suggestion, hit the tab button to add the auto-filled text to your message.

The feature operates in the background, so it is possible to write an email as you normally would.

What features does the new Gmail include?

Snooze - Gmail has added a hover menu that has the option to snooze messages until a specific time

Nudging - The nudging feature relies on AI flagging messages that are from a certain sender and contain specific content.

The company estimates that the 'nudges' feature will lead 8 per cent of business users each week to remember to follow-up on something important.

High priority notifications - Gmail will use its in-built AI to flag high-priority notifications. It says this will 'help you stay focused without interruption'

Unsubscribe -Gmail will start suggesting when to unsubscribe from newsletters or offers you no longer care about.

Attachment chips - You can view and download attachments without opening an email

Confidential mode - Users who enable a 'confidential' option when sending an email can time-limit its access to recipients.

The new setting does not override corporate email retention policies or present new obstacles to law enforcement.

Recipients can also be blocked from being able to forward, download or print an email.

Improved security - Google's machine-learning algorithms will run safety checks on every message received and will alert users in bold when it spots something that appears to be a threat.

Two-factor authentication is also being added so users can request the recipient authenticates themselves with a passcode received by text message before opening the confidential mail.

Smart replies - These will let users rapidly answer with a automatic response.

New look - Cosmetic changes bring Gmail's website in line with Office by placing Google's calendar, tasks and note-taking services within the same page as emails.

Generally, the design aims to be less cluttered with side panel that provide access to Google's other apps such as Calendar.

How to get it - Users will be invited to opt in to the new changes from today, but most can also opt-in by going to 'Settings' and selecting 'Try the new Gmail'.

In order to go back to the original Gmail, users can go to the same place and select 'Go back to classic Gmail'.
File image: Google. (Independent UK).