Google announces grammar checking feature for Docs


Grammar mistakes: we all make them — but what if it was virtually impossible?

Google has built a new grammar checker into their current Docs online software that uses machine learning to fix those odd syntax errors that sneak in every once in a while.

Whether you’re writing an email reminding your future self to buy bread, or writing an extensive thesis on the effect of gravitational waves on the earth’s trajectory — you probably need extra grammatical help.

Your standard spell-checking tool won’t catch these mistakes unless you use an extension like Grammarly. Well, say goodbye to extensions, because Google’s new feature is built into the existing Docs software.

These new grammar suggestions in Docs are powered by what is essentially a machine translation algorithm that recognises errors and suggests corrections as you type. Google says it can catch anything from wrongly used articles (“an” instead of “a”), incorrect tenses, and improper uses of commas, to more complicated issues like incorrectly used subordinate clauses. Which is a thing we’re totally familiar with.

“We’ve adopted a highly effective approach to grammar correction that is machine translation-based,” says David Thacker, Google’s VP for G Suite product management. “For example, in language translation, you take a language like French and translate it into English. Our approach to grammar is similar. We take improper English and use our technology to correct or translate it into proper English. What’s nice about this is that the language translations is a technology that we have a long history of doing well.”

It’s only available for business users, and the company’s administrator will have to activate it through the Early Adopter Program in order for users to test it out from today. The only downside is that we don’t quite know when the feature will be released to consumer accounts, or whether it will be available to them at all.

Source: The Verge


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