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Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc., during the Google I/O Developers Conference in Mountain View, California, on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Searching for an old email containing guidelines from your boss, your friend’s address or your airline rewards number is about to get a whole lot easier, according to Google. 

On Friday, the company announced an AI update for Gmail: Over the next 15 days, end users will begin to see “top results” when they search their inboxes, featured above the “all results” section. The new category is fueled by Google’s machine learning models, which will analyze the search term, most recent emails and “other relevant factors” to determine which messages count as the best match for the query. 

The news is the latest in a line of strategic changes for the email service, including a controversial update to the inactive account policy in May: Once a Google account has not been used in two years, the company may then delete the account, including all of its content and data. In February, Google completed the rollout of its new Gmail interface for every user, which featured a redesign and emphasis on the company’s other productivity tools. 

Gmail’s latest update for phones.
Google

The strategic shifts likely align with Google’s recent cost-cutting measures and CEO Sundar Pichai’s plans to make the company “20% more productive.” On Alphabet’s latest earnings call, executives discussed their plans to allocate resources to areas including AI and search, and business chief Philipp Schindler emphasized the “ability of Search to surface demand and deliver a measurable ROI in an uncertain environment.” 

In a blog post, Google called the feature “highly requested” and wrote that it would be available to all account holders and customers.

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