Google has been putting a lot of work recently into drowning out all of the annoying background noise we have to deal with as constantly connected and contactable citizens. The Google Phone app now automatically redirects unsolicited calls and the Google Messages app does the same with incoming SMS messages. Google is working hard to drown out spam emails too. Gmail has long been touted by the search giant for blocking 99.9% of all incoming spam emails. A recent blog post claims that the world’s leading email client is now stamping out an additional 100 million spam emails every day.
The news comes on the back of Google implementing TensorFlow to protect your inbox and detect the spam emails. TensorFlow is a new Google-developed open-source machine learning framework that works alongside Google’s current detection protocols. Google had this to say about how TensorFlow has helped Gmail find even more spam emails:
“We’re now blocking spam categories that used to be very hard to detect. Using TensorFlow has helped us block image-based messages, emails with hidden embedded content, and messages from newly created domains that try to hide a low volume of spammy messages within legitimate traffic.”
We block an additional 100 million spam and phish-y emails every day using @TensorFlow—in conjunction with our other protections. Learn more on how we’re keeping your inbox safe every day → https://t.co/DWFm1yYBMI #SaferInternetWeek pic.twitter.com/UJT76maNp5
— Gmail (@gmail) February 6, 2019
The interesting thing to note here is that although it sounds massive, 100 million spam messages a day isn’t actually that much in the grand scheme of things. Gmail has 1.5 billion users, which means blocking 100 million spam messages a day only stops a spam message getting through to one in 10 users on a daily basis.
Google is winning the battle against spam
As always, however, context is king in this situation. On its own, blocking a spam message a day for one in 10 users isn’t much at all. When you think though that these messages are extra on top of the 99.9% of all spam messages that Gmail allegedly blocks already then it becomes much more impressive. Being able to successfully target that 0.1% of spam messages shows that TensorFlow is able to work to a very high level of accuracy.
In fairness to Google, although 99.9% might sound like hyperbole, it has been a long time indeed since we’ve had to deal with spam messages making it through to our primary Gmail inboxes. Spam isn’t something that Gmail users have to deal with on a daily basis anymore. It is good to see though, that even if it is only a small problem Google is still working on rooting out those few fake or spam emails that still make their way into our inboxes.