Microsoft is using AI to create a politically correct version of spellcheck.
The new artificial intelligence program “Ideas in Word” will use aim to “improve” users’ writing, by suggesting more tolerant liberal phrases.
The examples cited by Fast Company were remarkably innocuous and considered inoffensive by normal people. The AI will reportedly suggest switching the ageist term “fresh blood” for a more polite term like “new employees” instead. It will also strive to combat sexism by trying to correct terms like “congressman” as “congressperson.”
Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Malavika Rewari informed Fast Company that Microsoft assembled a team of linguists and various other experts to anticipate non-inclusive word choices still used by people in casual and formal conversation, and suggest politically-correct alternatives.
The AI’s training data includes Wikipedia pages, which the article notes “are constantly being updated and corrected.”
Wikipedia is infamous for being hotbed of biased editors at times. Complex has an article titled “The 50 Craziest Lies in Wikipedia History” featuring articles edited by trolls and biased users. One of the gems listed there featured hackers who had edited the site so that the village of Denshaw in the UK was described as "an obese popular of sun-starved, sheep hurling yokels with a brothel for a pub and a lingering tapeworm infection."
Even Wikipedia itself acknowledges it is not a reliable source for academic citation. The page acknowledged it “can be edited by anyone at any time.” It added, “This means that any information it contains at any particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or just plain wrong.” Wikipedia has openly banned the use of Breitbart links as cited sources in its articles.
Granted, users can choose to ignore or even shut off this politically correct spellcheck program, but the fact Microsoft is nudging people in a more liberal direction has conservatives concerned.