MS Word Uses An AI Editor To Improve Your Writing

If you write with Microsoft Word Online, you’ll soon have an AI-powered editor at your side. As the company has announced that Word will soon get a new feature called “Ideas” that will offer writers all kinds of help with their documents.

If writing is a struggle for you, the most important feature of Ideas is surely its ability to help you write more concise and readable text. You can think of this as a grammar checker on steroids, as it goes beyond fixing obvious mistakes and focuses on making your writing better.

It uses machine learning, for example, to suggest a rewrite when you mangled a complex phrase. Ideas will also help you write more inclusive texts.

There are many words that have been widely used traditionally, but which are based on outdated assumptions. A familiar example is words containing the word man e.g.: chairman, manpower, and man-made, the use of which can be taken to imply that women do not participate in these activities.

We also have a tradition of referring to people with disabilities, by their disability e.g.: calling a person with epilepsy ‘an epileptic’; and of using stereotypes with unhelpful presumptions of ‘normality’ and by implication ‘abnormality’. These problems are most commonly found within the fields of: gender; disability; race; and sexual orientation.

This cloud-based tool will also give you information about the estimated reading times and decode acronyms for you, based on data it has about you and your company in the Microsoft Graph.

Ideas can also automatically extract key points from a document. That’s probably more interesting to a reader than a writer, though, so I expect that’s something users will use when somebody sends them a 67-page news summary.

Microsoft also notes that Ideas will bring something called the “Word Designer” to the word processor, which will help you style different parts of a document, including tables. These new features will come to Office Insiders in June and will become generally available to all users in the fall.

Leicester University:         Techcrunch

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