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Google Goes After Spam with AI Attack Dogs


As email services go, Gmail has a lot of brags. It has meticulous malware and virus checking, a colossal amount of storage space, intuitive thread stacking and much more. One of its biggest advantages though is how well it handles spam. According to a recent blog post by product manager Sri Harsha Somanchi, the average Gmail inbox only contains 0.1% spam, and only 0.05% of spam emails are mistakenly categorised as standard ones.

It's impressive, for sure, but clearly not enough for the Google brass. Basically every tech giant is getting in on the AI act at the moment and Google are no different. Now, they've introduced artificial neural networks which are designed to hunt out spam that might stand a change of dodging the filter and marking it as such.

It's a personalised system, every time you've ever clicked that 'report spam' button, Google has made a note of it and it's those notes that the AI is reading. Even if you mistakenly subscribed to weekly news letters from some website or another, if you've been bouncing them over to the spam folder, the AI will now start doing it for you. 

It might seem like a lot of effort just to downsize a 0.05% anomaly, but data gleaned from user email activity could lead to further AI optimisation in the near future. We reported a while back on Crystal, an email service which uses LinkedIn profile data to advise you on how to address different people in emails (formally, casually and so forth). With increased AI capability, services like that could grow exponentially.

Google are doing more than just outfitting Gmail with neural network bloodhounds though. They're also throwing in a new 'Postmaster Tools' feature aimed at companies and individuals that send high volumes of emails. Senders will get information back about how frequently their messages are marked as spam and shown ways to make it less likely to end up there.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Google Goes After Spam with AI Attack Dogs Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Rating: 5
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