Google has launched a service to step in and write your emails for you since it knows what you’re writing about anyway and can do a better job at it.
“Having us write your emails is just another way for you to spend more time doing what you like to do and are good at and leaving to us the drudgery of spelling out words and connecting them in sentences in ways that make sense,” says Janna Learner, head of the new service, called Google Ghost Writer, or Google Ghost for short.
The service uses the same algorithm the company uses to match ads to the subject matter in your emails. “We’re already tailoring ads to what you’re writing about, so this is just the next logical evolution in that mutually beneficial relationship,” says Learner. “If you’re writing an email about, say, a job you’d like to apply for, imagine how much help our service can be in making sure you say the right things.”
Learner says it’s not just about writing skills; it’s about having specific content to insert into your email. For example, if you’re seeking a job with a company you don’t know that much about, you’re likely to fill your email with generalities rather than specifics. With Google Ghost, Learner says, your email will be stuffed with specifics that even the company CEO won’t know about. “Because there’s really nothing Google doesn’t know about,’ says Learner.
In another example Lerner provided, if you’re trying to ask a person out on a first date, Google Ghost can automatically populate your email with information relevant to the person’s life, enabling you to get very specific. “If the person you’re asking out already has a boyfriend or is even engaged to get married, you can automatically get that addressed in your email, because with Google Ghost, you can get personal data populated into the email that the person might not be aware of. For example, say the person the woman is engaged to is having an affair, Google will know that and populate that information into the email for you. That will greatly help your chances of getting the date, because of course she’ll want to have an affair, too.”
To help Google’s 425 million users of Gmail take advantage of Google Ghost, the service is enacted by default, which means it will automatically take over your email once you start composing. Gmail users who don’t want to use the service simply click on their Google+ account, go to settings, click on “Don’t use Google Ghost Writer,” and then return to Gmail and go back to your email. “You just do that every time you write an email and don’t want Google Ghost help,” says Learner. “We get that not everyone wants to use the service every time.”
Analysts say Google Ghost fits in well with Google’s efforts in other areas of automation, including its push into driverless cars. “Google wants to drive your cars for you, it wants to write your emails for you—it’s a strategic integration of the different aspects of your life,” says Andy Canton, an analyst with Lehman Bros.
Privacy advocates are concerned, though. “Writing your emails for you is just one step closer to thinking your thoughts for you,” says Peter Grimes of Privacy Protection International. “Sure, Google says you can opt out of the application each time you don’t want to use it, but does opting out actually turn it off? Just because Google isn’t writing your email doesn’t mean it’s not tracking what you say, because it continues to match up sponsor content based on your topic.”
But Google says privacy advocates have nothing to worry about. “We’re just offering a friendly service that can be really useful to people’s lives,” says Learner. “We’re not going to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ for you—unless you want us to.”
Facebook says it’s rolling out a self-writing application, too.
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Image: tnn.
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