Microsoft will begin rolling out text predictions for Word by March 2021. The new update will help users type faster, saving time.
According to Microsoft “Text predictions help users write more efficiently by predicting text quickly and accurately. The feature reduces spelling and grammar errors and learns overtime to give the best recommendations based on your writing style.”
The feature will rely on machine learning to predict a word or phrase the user is likely to type next in their Microsft Word (MS Word) document. Gmail and Google Docs already have a similar feature. The predictions will appear in gray font and users can press the tab key to accept, or “escape” to reject. They can also choose to ‘disable’ the feature completely.
Microsoft said the feature would improve with time as it learns the users’ language preferences and writing preferences. The feature will help minimize spelling and grammatical errors. Microsoft reportedly rolled out the feature to 50 percent of Windows Beta Channels in 2020. According to Neowin, the software giant is now planning to roll it out to all windows users.
The company is also planning to roll out text prediction to Outlook, to help users compose their emails. Microsoft has also moved to assure users of the privacy of the data collected by the feature as it learns writing styles. They said the data would never leave tenant boundaries and no human could see it or analyze it unless it is donated as part of the feedback mechanism.
According to CNET, it is still not clear whether the company will offer text predictions to suggest gender for example, “him” or “her”. Google smart docs dropped the gender prediction in 2018 to avoid bias.
MS Word’s text prediction feature is still under development but should be rolled out to users by end of March 2021.