According to a recent report, Microsoft will soon begin using A.I. to make their Word program not just grammatically correct, but politically correct at the same time.
Fast Company reports that tech firm Microsoft will soon be utilizing A.I. for a surprising task — enforcing political correctness. The company reportedly plans to soon preview a version of its Word software which will use A.I. in both its grammar checking system and what is essentially a “political correctness check,” although the company is not referring to the feature in those terms.
The new program is being called “Ideas in Word” referring to a number of A.I.-driven features that help users format and write documents better. The new software will perform a number of tasks such as decoding acronyms and estimating how long it will take to read a written document.
On the politically correct front, Word’s A.I. will underline words that sound “insensitive,” suggesting alternate words for writers to use to avoid causing offense.
Fast Company gives an example of this in action:
Say you write, “We need to get some fresh blood in here.” The AI is likely to underline “fresh blood” and suggest “new employees” instead.
It might underline places where your writing exhibited gender bias. If you tend to say “mailman” or Congressman” in the generic, it might suggest you use “mailperson” or “Congressperson.” If you use the term “gentlemen’s agreement,” it may suggest you use “unspoken agreement” instead.
If you describe someone as a “disabled person” the AI would suggest “person with a disability.” Person-first terminology is preferred because it portrays the person as more important than the disability.
These new “inclusiveness” checks belong to a larger group of writing tools called “Refine My Writing” which includes clarity, conciseness, punctuation, and “sensitive geopolitical terms,” as part of its AI analysis.
Microsoft plans to begin offering previews of its new Ideas in Word feature in June.