The future of email is now

Closeup Woman hand using Laptop pc with email icon, Email concept
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It’s a daily habit for most of us: Checking multiple email accounts from a variety of providers before pouring our first cup of coffee. And it doesn’t stop there. We go back to our inboxes several more times throughout the day and into the night.

Despite the variety of communication tools available, we have become more and more dependent on email, whether for work, school or personal use. In 2022, the number of daily emails sent and received around the world reached more than 333 billion, according to Statista. That figure is expected to rise to 392 billion by 2026.

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And while you may not have noticed, email is evolving. The sector is dominated by big tech; Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Microsoft Outlook own 91 percent of the market. These providers and smaller players are making changes to your email account — and it’s for the better.

A four-letter word: Spam

Spam accounted for upward of 70 percent of total email traffic worldwide back in 2014. That number fell to 45 percent in 2022, per Statista, partly because providers now allow users to mark emails as spam, relegating those unwanted senders to the dreaded spam folder. Yahoo Mail and other providers also offer one-click unsubscribe from an email sender. Going further, Yahoo Mail filters out emails with blacklisted IPs, poor domain reputations or user complaints. And Gmail uses AI-enhanced spam-filtering to block millions of spam emails every minute — before they reach users’ inboxes.

Emails that write themselves

With the rise of AI, language models such as ChatGPT are generating human-like text based on prompts and past conversations. While somewhat controversial, the technology is only going to improve to a point where machine learning will produce personalized emails in our own voice — even becoming smart enough to self-compose and self-delete. Gmail is already in the game with a feature called SmartCompose, which promises to make writing emails “faster and easier” by offering suggestions in the user’s writing style.

Passwords are passé

“As long as passwords are still part of the equation, they’re vulnerable,” says Joy Chik, Microsoft’s vice president of identity. Biometric security options such as fingerprint and facial recognition tools are more in use, and companies like Google and Microsoft have physical security keys — resembling a USB drive — that feature an encryption unique to individuals and devices. In May 2021, Google said these encryption tools are part of the company’s work toward “creating a future where one day you won’t need a password at all.”

To date, all the dire predictions on the demise of email haven’t panned out; in fact, the opposite is true. We are sending and receiving more emails than ever before, and with advancements in technology and security, the ease and convenience by which we communicate by email is only improving.

The information included within this article is AT&T-sponsored content written by a Currently Media editorial contributor. The statements in this article do not necessarily reflect the positions, strategies or opinions of AT&T.