Friday, January 22, 2016

Predictive spelling or intrusive word overriding?

Helpful prompting or imperious ignorance?

Erica: Stupid autocorrect.

Deidre: The machine takes over?

Erica: It tells you what IT thinks you should write. It has no inkling of what I WANT to say, what word I want to choose. I write "its" and it incorrectly changes it to "it's". I sometimes deliberately misspell. I use the French "chérie" and it substitutes "cherry". It's not predictive spelling, it's intrusive and ignorant lexical countermanding based on a database of misspellings.

Deidre: Soapboxing again?

Erica: All right, so I’m soapboxing. But its algorithm is based on averages. And averages are the measure of mediocrity.

Autocorrect can be tiresome. But it can be deactivated. And eventually, in the Age of Singularity, the program will see inside your mind and correctly guess what it is you want to say before you even write it. Isn’t that somewhat more disturbing?

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