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Gmail Priority Inbox: Google gets one step closer to replacing your brain

Google's taken one more step towards replacing your brain, with the introduction of Gmail Priority Inbox. The software can learn which emails are important to you

Gmail has taken one more step towards sentience with the introduction of Priority Inbox. Google's free email client will automatically sort the wheat from the chaff and pick out the most important messages for your perusal.

Priority Inbox builds on Gmail's ninja-like spam filter, separating out emails that aren't spam but aren't a high priority either: messages from mailing lists that you've signed up to, say, or notifications from social networks. You can train Priority Inbox using plus and minus buttons to indicate what you think is important. It also takes account of which emails you have previously opened and replied to, cutting back on the number of manual filters you need to set up.

Your messages are sorted into three piles: unread messages Gmail thinks are important, messages you have marked with a star, and everything else.

Over time, Priority Inbox gets better at predicting what's important to you, until it eventually starts replying to messages, going to meetings in your place, and flirting with girls for you, so you can just stay in and watch Die Hard again.

Priority Inbox will be rolled out to Gmail and Google Apps over the next week. Look for the 'New! Priority Inbox' link in the top right-hand corner of your Gmail, or a new Priority Inbox tab in settings.