Tech Talk: Microsoft Word’s new feature uses artificial intelligence to make writing easy

A new feature in Microsoft Word aims to help improve writing beyond the usual grammatical fixes.

Using artificial intelligence, Ideas will suggest rewrites for poorly written sentences as well as changes to make sure language is gender inclusive.

It will help users lay out different parts of a document, including tables, and suggest synonyms and alternative phrases to make writing more concise.

It will be cloud-based and initially available to users of Word Online only. A test version of Ideas will go live in June, becoming more widely available in September 2019. This was announced at Microsoft’s Build developer conference in Seattle, BBC reported.

In a blog post to explain the changes, Microsoft said: “Writing requires a dash of uniquely human creativity. Artificial intelligence alone cannot do it for us, at least not very well. But AI can and already is helping us do things like making sure we spell words correctly and use correct grammar.

“As the AI in these products is becoming more sophisticated, they are helping us do more than spot a misspelled word.”

Rival Google announced its own AI-based writing tool for Google Docs recently, which it promised would be more than just a grammar-checker, being able to detect “nuances” in language.

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