Gmail is adding more AI to help you find important emails faster

AI seems to be everywhere at the moment, and Google is building the tech into its products faster than most. Gmail is the latest Google app to get an injection of artificial intelligence, to improve search results on mobile.

“When searching in Gmail, machine learning models will use the search term, most recent emails and other relevant factors to show you the results that best match your search query,” Google explains in a blog post (via Android Central).

“These results will now appear at the top of the list in a dedicated section, followed by all results sorted by recency,” the post continues. In other words, AI will (in theory) pick out the best matches for your search, and put them at the top of the list.

Years of AI

This is coming to the Gmail apps for Android and iOS, and should be rolling out for everyone now. As yet, there's no word on whether or not the same feature will be making an appearance in the desktop web interface for Gmail.

AI has been built into Gmail for years of course, with features like Smart Reply composing short automated replies for you. In recent months, Google has been pushing more advanced, generative AI as a way of composing your emails.

More AI features are heading to search on the web too, while development on the ChatGPT rival Google Bard continues at a steady pace. We can expect plenty more announcements like this one in the months and years ahead.

Analysis: AI needs to be useful

Google and other tech companies seem to have no qualms about pushing out AI features as quickly as they possibly can at the moment, which is what tends to happen in a competitive, emerging field when several players are trying to get out in front.

However, we'd query just how useful all of this AI is going to end up being. Sure, having the option to generate text messages in the style of Shakespeare is quite fun – but wouldn't most people prefer to use their own words from their own heads when keeping up conversations with friends and family?

Even something like Gmail search isn't a complete win for AI. What are the “relevant factors” that the app is using to pick the top results? Are they reliable? Sometimes it feels like the old manual methods of labels and stars are the best ways to keep on top of thousands of emails taking up room in Gmail.

In an age where we're relying on algorithms for everything from choosing our movie recommendations to writing our books, there's still a lot to be said for human creativity and curation, which might be slower but can be a whole lot more useful and engaging.

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Wordle hints #262: top tips to find today’s Wordle answer

Wordle, your favorite daily word-guessing game, is a solitary exercise, but it doesn't have to be. You can do it with us and our Wordle hints, which should make solving the daily brain-frustrater all the more palatable.

We won't give you the answer right upfront, of course. Instead, we'll walk you through our solution with key tips to solving it on your own along the way.

Get ready to solve Wordle #262 together with everything you need to shake you out of that letter-based fug.

A couple of quick reminders about how Wordle, which is owned by The New York Times, works. The game asks you to guess a five-letter word in six tries. Correct letter guesses appear as orange. Correct letters in their correct spot appear as green. Unless you play in “Hard Mode,” you don't have to use guessed letters in subsequent attempts.

If you don't need tips, you can jump directly to today's Wordle answer.

Spoiler Alert: If you do not want to know today’s Wordle answer, STOP READING IMMEDIATELY.

Tip: More letters in a single word

Never start Wordle with a double-letter word (more on that here: How to win at Wordle. ). Even if you had a dream telling you the correct answer is “FOOLS,” don't do it. 

First, it's rare to guess the word on the first try (too many options), and second, you can't afford to give up valuable letter real estate. A word like “GRAND,” gives you five letter options.

Tip: Vowels and Consonants

Virtually all words have a mix of vowels, “AEIOU and sometimes Y” and consonants (all the other letters). A lot of words start with consonants like “G” but not all. Do you best, though, to mix it up. We suggest a minimum of two vowels in your first guess, but also encourage going with your first best word guess, which might only have one.

First word

(Image credit: Future)

Tip: Don't panic

Zero right letters is not cause for panic. Remember, you've now ruled out five letters, three of which are key consonants. The answer possibilities have just narrowed significantly.

First word result

(Image credit: Future)

Tip: Always be ready with a new word

There are two moments in Wordle when it's time to consider a completely new word. The first is when you get zero letters right and the second is when you decide you need to collect more correct letters (or rule more out) to get much closer to the Wordle solution.

Tip: Don't reuse dead letters

Conjure all the letter combinations you can think of, but whatever you do, do not reuse one of those dismissed letters. You need a new word, preferably one with a nice mix of consonants and vowels from the remaining letter list.

Tip: Look for common letter combination

While we have no correct letters to choose from, the remainders are quite useful. Having “TH” opens a few tantalizing Wordle possibilities: “THEME” and “THOSE.” Just remember the loss of an “A” also cuts away far more possible words. Always focus on what you have.

Tip: When it's early, take the leap

Getting Wordle in two guesses will always be more a product of luck than skill. Do not waste more than a few minutes trying to guess the exact right Wordle answer. Step two is almost always a building block and should position you to guess in three – if you're lucky.

Second word guess

(Image credit: Future)

Tip: Really pay attention to what you have

The odds are that the second guess will give your at least two letters (or three, as you see here) to play with. Your third guess is not the place to rush it.

Tip: It really does matter where letters don't belong

The great thing about Wordle is that it really is telling you something when you get it wrong. An orange letter is both the right letter, but it's also telling you that it belongs anywhere but that space. Subsequent guesses about placement will give you more insight. Knowing where things don't belong is more than half the Wordle battle.

Second word result

(Image credit: Future)

Tip: It's okay to double up in three

There have been many double letter word answers in Wordle, and in the third guess, trying a double letter is a worthwhile risk.

It's also a calculated one because letters and positions that have been excluded narrow the possibilities. In this case, the “T” can no longer sit at the front of the word. We know “S” is in there and it's a fairly common start letter. We've also lost the vowels “A” and “O,” which again tightens the focus on E. 

Tip: Don't forget common letter combinations

We talked about “TH” above, which we lost when “H” was moved off the board. There's still an “E” and an “I.” These two letters which often appear as “IE” but not always, could sit in the middle of your word. Try out the combinations in your head. 

Wordle Guesses

(Image credit: Future)

Tip: Always make progress

Do your best to build on successes and let letter failures guide you as well. Starting over after three guesses is almost never the way to go.


(Image credit: Future)

Tip: Three or more correct letters means you solve offline, first

Three correct Wordle letters in the right place is your golden opportunity to solve in four. Never rush to answer. Try letter combinations in your head and on the board. Just don't hit enter until you are at least 90% certain.

Tip: Embrace the educated guess

It's always worth going through all your remaining letters to ensure they cannot fit in your open spaces. There are often two or more viable Wordle answers. In this case, because we still have “L” and “W” to choose from, “SWEEP” or “SLEEP” would work. 

The choice between the two words is difficult. Going with our gut, says, “SLEEP.”


(Image credit: Future)

Tip: Pay attention

A dumb mistake, like missing the fact that the “P” is out and the “T” is in can cost you a turn and lead you to incorrect guess.

[Author's note: This was totally done to show you a worst-case scenario. You're welcome.]


(Image credit: Future)

Tip: Go with the obvious

The options here are limited to, essentially “SKEET” and “SWEET.” They both real and viable words, but “SKEET” is less common (how many people still skeet shoot?) and, well, we all know “sweet.”


(Image credit: Future)

Tip: No one celebrates a “solved in five” 

Take the win, but perhaps don't share it.


(Image credit: Future)

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Microsoft Teams might even help you find a new job now

Hunting for jobs in today's crowded market could soon get a lot easier thanks to a new Microsoft Teams update.

The video conferencing service will be adding local job market trends to its Career Coach Microsoft Teams app, letting users find out what opportunities are on offer from employers near them.

The trends will come directly from LinkedIn, with the Microsoft-owned social media network providing the latest information for job hunters everywhere.

Microsoft Teams Career Coach

According to the official entry on the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the update is still in development, but should be rolling out to Teams users across the world before the end of February 2022.

The tool will be available to faculty and staff license holders alike, presumably meaning that the target for the update will be university and college-level students.

Career Coach already looks to assist students in identifying career goals aligned with their passions, interests, and strengths, as well as allowing them to make connections with alumni, peers, and faculty who can support them on their career path.

The news is the latest in a long series of updates and upgrades for Microsoft Teams as the company looks to ensure it is as useful for users as possible.

In a similar vein to today's news, Microsoft recently revealed that it is working on a new feature that will allow LinkedIn profiles to be displayed in Teams.

The information will be displayed in personal chats, meaning colleagues can find out more about their co-workers, for example when planning for a project or looking to help with onboarding.

Microsoft Teams continues to go from strength to strength, with the latest figures from the company showing that the service now boasts over 270 million monthly active users (MAUs).

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Twitter borrows a Window 11 feature to make settings easier to find

Like so many other apps, Twitter has grown and developed dramatically over the years and to help give users control over things there are a huge number of settings that can be configured. Manually trawling through the “Settings and privacy” section of the app to find a particular setting can be a frustrating experience, but now there is a new option.

Much like Microsoft has done with Windows 11, as Apple has done with macOS, Google has done with Chrome and other developers have done with their own software, Twitter has finally decided to implement a search option for settings.

The real surprise here is that it has taken quite so long for such a simple and obvious idea to come to the app, but the day has – at long last – arrived. The change addresses a problem faced by many people: knowing that they want to change a setting, but not knowing which section to look in to find it.

Seek and ye shall find

With this latest update, when you pay a visit to the “Privacy and settings” section of the Twitter app, you will see a search bar at the top of the screen. Type a keyword in to this “Search settings” bar, and you'll be presented with a list of matching settings that you can jump to with a quick tap.

Twitter shared news of the new search capability in a tweet from the Twitter Safety account:

See more

Reception to the tweet has been positive, and this is hardly surprising given just how much it can help speed up the process of customizing, personalizing and securing a Twitter account.

The new search functionality is gradually rolling out to all versions of the Twitter app, so check for updates but be prepared to wait a little while if you don't see the option just yet.

Via SocialMediaToday

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Google makes datasets easier to find online

Researchers and academics searching for datasets online will now have an easier time doing so as Google's Dataset Search is now out of beta and includes new tools to better filter searches with access to close to 25m datasets.

Dataset Search first launched in 2018 as part of the company's goal to put an end to the fragmentation of open-access data. 

While many universities, governments and labs publish their data online, it is often difficult to find using traditional search engines. However, by adding open source metadata tags to their web pages, these groups can have their data indexed by Google's Dataset Search.

Although the search giant did not share an specific usage figures for Dataset Search, the company says that “hundreds of thousands of users” have tried it out since its launch and that the tool has received positive support from the scientific community.

Dataset Search

The Verge spoke with a research scientist at Google AI who helped create the tool named Natasha Noy who said that “most [data] repositories have been very responsive” and that Dataset Search has even encouraged older scientific institutions to take “publishing metadata more seriously”.

Now that the tool is out of beta, Google has added new features to it including the ability to filter data by type (tables, images, text, etc), whether it is free to use and also the geographic area it covers. Dataset Search is also now available on mobile and it has expanded dataset descriptions.

According to Google, the tool's search engine covers almost 25m datasets, though this is only a “fraction of datasets on the web”. The largest topics indexed by Dataset Search include geosciences, biology and agriculture with education, weather, cancer, crime, soccer and dogs being the most common queries.

Making data available to users is what Google does best and the company plans to continue to add more datasets to Dataset Search.

Via The Verge

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