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Friday, January 27, 2023
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Google Using AI Technology to Correct Non-Inclusive Language

'Our technology is always improving, and we don’t yet (and may never) have a complete solution to identifying and mitigating all unwanted word associations and biases... '

(Headline USA) Google plans to start using a new “inclusive language” function that will steer users away from “controversial” language, including gendered words, such as “mankind.”

Google Docs started pushing this feature earlier this month in pop-up warnings that warned users against using phrases considered to be non-inclusive, such as “policeman,” “fireman,” or “housewife.” The warnings state that these terms “may not be inclusive to all readers” and suggests woke alternatives. 

For example, a pop-up warning on the platform advises users to use “humankind” instead of “mankind,” and “police officer” instead of “policeman.”

Even seemingly innocuous words, such as “annoyed” and “motherboard,” were flagged for being insufficiently inclusive, according to Vice

A Google spokesperson said the assisted writing feature is undergoing “ongoing evolution.”

“Assisted writing uses language understanding models, which rely on millions of common phrases and sentences to automatically learn how people communicate,” the representative said in a statement, according to the New York Post.

“This also means they can reflect some human cognitive biases. Our technology is always improving, and we don’t yet (and may never) have a complete solution to identifying and mitigating all unwanted word associations and biases.” 

Google’s move toward woke inclusiveness follows a similar push early this by Microsoft, which “woke-up” its Word software to highlight phrases that writers use that fail to comply with state and corporate standards.

“Your spellchecker will now help you to start overcoming your subconscious biases,” said Microsoft digital strategist John Bull.

The role of Big Tech and its habitual censorship has been a matter of debate for several years, and led to billionaire Elon Musk acquiring Twitter this week after he raised concerns about the platform’s content moderation policies. 

Twitter’s board of directors unanimously agreed to sell the company to Musk for $44 billion on Monday after initially working to thwart the deal. Musk said he intends to make sure Twitter serves as a free speech platform.

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