This question is probably quite naive, but are there any good auto-kern tools? It seems to me that such time consuming yet mechanical process should’ve been automated a long time ago, shouldn’t it? And now we have all of those neural networks, AI and so on. Am I missing something already present?
Then there is (or was?) iKern
And Bubble Kern: http://glyphsextensions.com/bubblekern/
Also, I hope you already know about kerning groups: https://glyphsapp.com/tutorials/kerning
I don't believe there will ever come a day where kerning can be fully automatized. The reason is that kerning, like spacing and designing outlines, is subject to taste and style. It makes sense to kern one typeface differently then the other, simply because it has a different style, or is intended for different purposes. What I've been thinking for a while though, is that something like Bubble Kern might benefit from a slider from Text to Display, where Text kerns everything loosely, and Display very tight.
The Autokern feature allows the user to adjust the glyph spacing value to make the kerning tighter or looser. One can do this for the full table, or just for the test table (which is much quicker).
When I am happy with the glyph spacing factor, I can use that value for the entire font. On my large fonts, it takes a few minutes to run. I have about 72K kerning pairs.
I suspect that either it is based on the AFDKO “fea” language (which would be quite OK as far as I know), or conceivably vice versa. Not that it is a big deal either way.