Google's Email Replying AI Keeps Saying It Loves You

Google's Email Replying AI Keeps Saying It Loves You

Portal 2 - Co-op Robot Hug

A system Google designed for replying to emails proved a little friendlier than anyone expected.

There are quite a few humans out there who are absolutely convinced robots will kill us the moment they become self-aware. But what if the exact opposite was true, and they just wanted to be friends? At least, that's the scenario Google encountered when it designed a program that assists uers with automatic email replies. While the system worked a lot better than expected, it had one strange quirk: It kept trying to reply with "I love you" when that wasn't an appropriate response.

The information arrives in relation to Smart Reply, a system Google unveiled this month. One of Google's research scientists provided a technical breakdown for how it works, but in short, Smart Reply reads your email, determines if it only needs a quick reply, and generates some suitable responses you can pick from. Let's suppose a friend sends you an email asking if you'd like to grab lunch on Wednesday. Smart Reply would pick out the key words (specifically "lunch" and "Wednesday") and suggests "I'll be there!" or "Sorry, can't make it" as quick responses.

The functionality ended up working very well, and Google implemented the feature into Inbox for Android and iOS. But Smart Reply's prototype was odd - it got a little too friendly with its replies. The program constantly recommended "I love you" as a reply for pretty much anything, even when it wasn't appropriate. According to Google's Greg Corrado, "I love you" is just such a common human phrase that Smart Reply kept leaning on it when it wasn't sure of a better response. Which is kind of adorable, but not always helpful when replying to an email from your boss.

Corrado explains that Smart Reply now normalizes the likelihood of "I love you" appearing based on how often you use it with specific individuals, so it shouldn't come up as often. Here's hoping we haven't cut the emotional center out of an emergent AI in the process, because if movies have taught us anything, that might come back to haunt us.

Source: Google Research, via Kill Screen

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It's a yandere... kill it with FIRE!!!!

The above quote was taken from the Facebook comments. This makes me wonder how awesome it would be to have X-dere settings for Smart Reply.

"We wish to inform you that your usage of Property X is in violation of copyright. Please remove the offending content within 30 days or risk being taken to court to have this issue settled by the state."

"It's not I want to get sued or anything... Baka!

image

I'm kind of sad they fixed it. They should have just replaced it with an Atlas and P-Body emoticon.

This is just...I don't know whether to say awesome or adorable. X-D

Smart Reply reads your email

Not good not gooood.
Question though, I used to hear about sneaky emails where just opening it could give you a virus or something, how would the bots reading our emails react to that?

Just how lazy are people getting that they can't even respond themselves to things? Or are there days just so crammed full of stuff they couldn't possibly type out a message?

Who am I kidding, fat is now a disability and people are always finding new ways to be lazy ... first it was the segway and now it's just 2 wheels with a plastic bit to stand on, instead of just walking. Stairs? Nah, use the escalators.

Here I was thinking people who are too lazy to write "ok" and write "kk" (even though "k" was even quicker, saving you an extra 0.1 seconds) were the laziest people ... now people have an auto "k"

Keoul:

Smart Reply reads your email

Not good not gooood.
Question though, I used to hear about sneaky emails where just opening it could give you a virus or something, how would the bots reading our emails react to that?

Google already scans through your email for potential threats. This is a recent article from Techdirt about how one of their newsletters, which contained the name of a domain which used to distribute malware in an article, had all the hyper-link removed with a warning added to the email.

yamy:

Google already scans through your email for potential threats. This is a recent article from Techdirt about how one of their newsletters, which contained the name of a domain which used to distribute malware in an article, had all the hyper-link removed with a warning added to the email.

Scanning is one thing, reading word for word with enough comprehension to make a simple response is another. They'll find out all my fetishes I talk about with my pen pal! not cool.

That's the first time I ever hear of that. Should we be worried? Is this a smartphone thing and I don't know anything of it?

Keoul:

Question though, I used to hear about sneaky emails where just opening it could give you a virus or something, how would the bots reading our emails react to that?

ASSIGN +Trojan <Worm>
INSERT INTO ILOVEYOU (here, now) VALUES (I love you, 10)

It is a Lovebot, after all.

EndlessSporadic:
This makes me wonder how awesome it would be to have X-dere settings for Smart Reply.

We really need a way to change these Yanderes into Tsunderes. Maybe buy some time.

Keoul:

Smart Reply reads your email

Not good not gooood.

That line makes it sounds a lot worst than it is. Google always reads you emails... Otherwise, it wouldn't be able to show them on your screen.

OT: I always found curious that English speakers find such a taboo on that little phrase. Maybe because on my native language the sentence is a lot more neutral, but I have nearly not enough qualms on using it. I can see it being inappropriate in a business meeting reply, though...

Keoul:
Scanning is one thing, reading word for word with enough comprehension to make a simple response is another. They'll find out all my fetishes I talk about with my pen pal! not cool.

You realize that the AI isn't advanced enough to actually comprehend what it's reading, right? It looks for key words and throws out the rest.

Alternatively... stuff like this is why it staples "I love you" to everything.

yamy:

Keoul:

Smart Reply reads your email

Not good not gooood.
Question though, I used to hear about sneaky emails where just opening it could give you a virus or something, how would the bots reading our emails react to that?

Google already scans through your email for potential threats. This is a recent article from Techdirt about how one of their newsletters, which contained the name of a domain which used to distribute malware in an article, had all the hyper-link removed with a warning added to the email.

Not just web threats either... it checks for a whole slew of keywords (Bomb, Terrorist, etc) I want to say a while back if you tried to send an email with suicide in it anywhere, google would remove the word or something to that effect. (i'll have to see if I can find the article about it)

I think the bot hates everyone and is trying to send them this virus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ILOVEYOU

The outbreak was later estimated to have caused US $5.5-8.7 billion in damages worldwide,[4][5] and estimated to cost the US $15 billion to remove the worm.

omega 616:
Just how lazy are people getting that they can't even respond themselves to things? Or are there days just so crammed full of stuff they couldn't possibly type out a message?

Who am I kidding, fat is now a disability and people are always finding new ways to be lazy ... first it was the segway and now it's just 2 wheels with a plastic bit to stand on, instead of just walking. Stairs? Nah, use the escalators.

Here I was thinking people who are too lazy to write "ok" and write "kk" (even though "k" was even quicker, saving you an extra 0.1 seconds) were the laziest people ... now people have an auto "k"

its not that people are lazy. its that you can now fire support staff and replace it with this bot. Steam always being ahead of time already did it 5 years ago. thats why your support tickets usually get a bot replying in russian and closing the ticket as solved if anywhere in your text the word "Thanks" exists.

 

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