After I switched to the new Gmail web interface I've received a mail message of the form

Would it be acceptable to you if <...>

To my surprise I found three buttons under the message below the signature:

Yes, you can do that. Yes, that would be fine. No, it doesn't.

If I click "Show original" in the message menu, I see that these buttons are not part of the message, so I suppose it's the Gmail engine which has analyzed message contents and is trying to be helpful.

However, I'm hesitant to use these buttons, since I'm not sure what they'll do. So, my question: what exactly do these buttons do? Do they simply send the answer without further interaction? Or do they simply let me start with a message template corresponding to the answer I choose? Or is this simply a means to provide Google with some sort of statistics/feedback on their AI mail analyzer?

Trying to search the web for the exact phrases led me nowhere...

  • Why not just send yourself an email with a question in it, and then see what happens when you use one of those buttons? No risk of accidentally emailing someone else if it’s an email that you sent yourself.
    – Mike Scott
    Aug 17, 2018 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


Those are "Smart Replies". Using machine learning tech, Google is making a guess at what would be a reasonable response. It might save you a little time.

Google Blog: Save time with Smart Reply in Gmail

It’s pretty easy to read your emails while you’re on the go, but responding to those emails takes effort. Smart Reply, available in Inbox by Gmail and Allo, saves you time by suggesting quick responses to your messages. The feature already drives 12 percent of replies in Inbox on mobile. And starting today, Smart Reply is coming to Gmail for Android and iOS too.

Smart Reply suggests three responses based on the email you received:

Once you’ve selected one, you can send it immediately or edit your response starting with the Smart Reply text. Either way, you’re saving time.

Smart Reply utilizes machine learning to give you better responses the more you use it. So if you're more of a “thanks!” than a “thanks.” person, we'll suggest the response that's, well, more you! If you want to learn about the smarts behind Smart Reply, check out the Google Research Blog.

  • This is hardly a link-only answer. But I'll cite from the blog post anyway.
    – ale
    Aug 17, 2018 at 15:25

The button creates a reply to that email with that piece of text in the body of the message.

The email isn't sent though - so you can continue to edit the message or discard it if you change your mind.

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