Google is working on an AI-based auto-reply system to do just that. Like all other projects within Area 120, it's a very early experiment so there aren't many details to share right now. Smart Replies might sound robotic/impersonal at times but are a boon when whipping out your phone to draft a full-fledged text simply isn't an option. For example, if a message like "We're waiting for you!" comes in, Reply can get your attention and ask you to respond.
The expanded feature aims to take the hassle out of firing back replies in a range of popular messaging apps, including WhatsApp.
Aside from providing suggested Smart Replies, Reply also includes a number of other automated features. As you can see in the screenshot below, Reply looks a lot like Google's native Smart Replies. But the feature has not been made available to all Android Messages users as of yet. As of now, smart replies aren't shown in notifications, but with Reply, users will be able to send smart replies directly from the notifications list.
Reply is created to work with a number of popular messaging services, including Google Hangouts and Allo, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter direct messages and Slack. Smart reply offers automated replies, and like any AI-powered feature, it can be correct at times, or off the mark at various instances. It will have a "do not disturb" mode that will silence a phone but also scan incoming messages that are important.
Announced in a blog post, the tech giant said the feature is now in a test period, meaning only a handful of news outlets like CNN, The Washington Post and Mashable, have the chance to embed publisher-made stories into search results. As per the report, Reply can also alert you even if you're phone is silent in case you receive any urgent text.
"One of the many projects that we're working on within Area 120 is Reply, which suggests smart replies right in notifications from various chat apps", a Google spokesperson said.
Google's internal incubator is working to expand the functionality into other major chat apps.
If you're interested in testing out Reply and other applications from Area 120 in the future, your best bet is to sign up to join the incubator's Early Access Program.