Microsoft's new AI writing tool can spot your unconscious biases

Microsoft CEO, Satya NadellaBCCL

  • Microsoft announced a new artificial intelligence (AI) based writing tool called ‘Ideas’ are their annual developer conference, Build 2019.
  • Ideas goes beyond correcting grammatical mistakes and spelling errors.
  • It can make suggestions for a rewrite and has other aspects to help with making a document more readable.
  • Microsoft says that the cloud based tool will be available to preview sometime next month.
Google isn’t the only company trying to predict what you’re going to say next. At their developer’s conference — Build 2019 — Microsoft announced that its coming out with its own writing tool called ‘Ideas’ for Microsoft Word.

Today we’re announcing Ideas in Word, giving every Word user an AI-powered editor in the cloud. Ideas follows along as you write and provides intelligent suggestions to make your writing more concise, readable, and inclusive.

Rajesh Jha, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Experiences and Devices

The cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) companion is supposed to do more than just correct grammatical mistakes and spelling errors according to the company.

Ideas is also going to make suggestions for a rewrite, promote inclusive writing, integrate Word Designer — a formatting and presentation tool — and make documents more readable.

How will it change the way you write?

If the words in a sentence are in the wrong order or if a sentence doesn’t quite make sense, the AI tool will suggest that you should probably rewrite that segment of the document in Microsoft Word.

More importantly, for marketers and publishers, Ideas is also supposed to promote inclusive writing, which essentially means being more gender neutral. So, if Ideas spots a certain bias against a particular group, it will flag the phrase for you to make the necessary changes.

And, overall, sometimes you need to know how long it's going to take to read a particular document on average. Ideas can provide a time estimate and decode acronyms Microsoft Word using data stored on Microsoft Graph.

In case you feel a certain segment is too long, you can ask Ideas for a summary where it will provide a list of the key points from the specified section of the document.

Another aspect of Microsoft that Ideas will integrate into is Word Designer, the tool on Microsoft Word that helps you style table and other non-text aspects of the document.

Google’s Smart Compose tool for Gmail, which originally only Smart Reply, works in a similar manner helping users complete their sentences and address the recipient in a gender neutral manner.

On paper, Microsoft’s AI for Word look more complex but, then again, it’s not free for use. Either way, Word users will be able to find out in June when Microsoft makes Ideas available for preview.

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