New Microsoft Word feature will use AI to offer 'inclusive' language suggestions

What you need to know

  • "Ideas in Word" to launch in Word Online this fall.
  • The feature will suggest gender "inclusive" language edits.
  • Backed by AI to make your prose more concise and easier to digest.
  • From $50 at Amazon - Office 365 Personal

As part of its Build 2019 announcements last week, Microsoft announced a new feature for Word that flew a bit under the radar. Called "Ideas" the feature uses AI to suggest edits for your documents that will make them more professional, concise, and inclusive (via The Telegraph).

Ideas in Word taps into machine learning and the Microsoft Graph to, ultimately, make your prose more "polished."

"Here's something where we say, 'Hey, we understand the structure of your document. We can make it navigable, or we could create a table of contents on your behalf,'" said Kirk Gregersen, a partner director of program management in Microsoft's Experiences and Devices group, in a blog post announcing the feature.

One of the biggest additions with this feature is suggestions to make the language you use more inclusive for people of all walks of life. In an example given by Microsoft, Ideas may recommend changing the word "policeman" to "police officer" to be more gender-inclusive.

In addition, the AI-powered feature can tap into the Microsoft Graph to help you gain insights on the estimated time to read your document, highlight extraction, "familiar fixes for spelling and grammatical errors," and recommended acronyms. Overall, though, the feature aims to make your writing more concise and, as Microsoft puts it, "better."

The Ideas is feature is expected to ship starting this Fall in Word Online.

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