Google's Gboard virtual keyboard has unveiled its latest feature: an AI-driven proofreading tool. This innovative addition, currently available to beta users, aims to enhance the typing experience by detecting and rectifying spelling and grammatical errors.
Proofread Feature in Toolbar
According to a report by 9to5Google, the “Proofread” option has been integrated into Gboard's version 13.4 toolbar. When users activate this feature, they are presented with a “Fix it” prompt, showcasing Google's signature generative AI symbol.
The tool's functionality goes beyond merely identifying errors. By selecting “Proofread”, the system assesses the entire text, suggesting corrections and enhancements, such as punctuation additions. The integrated “Fix it” button streamlines the process, automatically applying the recommended changes. This advancement is perceived as an evolved version of the conventional autocorrect feature, offering a more sophisticated and intuitive experience.
Privacy Concerns and Future Prospects
However, there's a catch it is worth knowing about. The proofreading operation occurs server-side, meaning the typed content is transmitted to Google for analysis. This has raised eyebrows regarding user privacy. It would indeed be a monumental shift if future updates could process the data locally, eliminating the need to transfer it to external servers.
In addition to the Proofread tool, Gboard has been dabbling with other innovative features. There are reports of an AI-powered sticker creation tool. Another anticipated feature might assist users in altering the tone of their messages, offering a spectrum from formal to casual.
Furthermore, Gboard is exploring a feature named “Conversation Starters”. This tool, as implied by its name, is designed to aid users in initiating discussions by suggesting contextually relevant topics. Such a feature could be invaluable for those hesitant to start conversations, adding a touch of novelty to everyday chats.
Microsoft's AI Integration into SwiftKey
Google is not the only tech company using AI in its virtual keyboard. In fact, Microsoft beat Google by introducing Bing Chat in SwiftKey in June. On SwiftKey, the AI is available via a Bing icon on the top left corner of the keyboard. Tapping on it will open a chat window where users can type or speak to Bing.
Bing Chat in SwiftKey has two modes: chat and tone. In chat mode, users can have a natural conversation with Bing, similar to using the Bing mobile app or website. Bing can answer queries, provide facts, generate content, and offer suggestions for the next user turn.