What is it that makes social networks different than email?

Right now Gmail is a chronological feed, could it not be in the future that AI will read the mailings and place them in an order depending on urgency and other markers of importance?

It's already beginning, with the introduction of "Promotions" and "Social" tabs to Gmail.

If we were to see the rise of algorithmic email, it would pose a new, and somewhat disconcerting question for users:

Do we own our inboxes, or does Gmail (or name your provider)?

Are our communications private, or are they at risk?

If an algorithmic feed for email does eventually happen, I suspect we'll see some type of movement towards a decentralized inbox, with better controls for the user.I also suspect that Marketers will do everything they can to game the inbox, as we've seen with SEO. Gmail could quite literally shift email strategy, if it hasn't already...

We are ok with the spam box controlling the flow, but how will we feel about this next step?

xx David