Microsoft has revealed a new feature for its Word platform that will use artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve users’ writing.
Announced at Microsoft’s Build developer conference in Seattle, the new ‘Ideas’ feature will be cloud-based and available through Word Online from June this year.
In a blog post on the company’s website, Microsoft outlined the changes: “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 make sure we spell words correctly and use correct grammar.”
The post adds that, as AI in a host of its products becomes “more sophisticated, it is helping products “do more than spot a mis-spelled word”.
Currently, Microsoft Word offers grammatical advice to users. However, Ideas will suggest ways in which a user can re-write and cut down sentences. It will also suggest alternative phrases, suggest synonyms and support users with layouts design to “create more professional documents and efficiently navigate documents created by others”.
Ideas will also ensure that language is gender inclusive, the company confirmed. The move follows a similar announcement from Google earlier this year. Google said its new AI-based tool will be able to detect “nuances” in language and provide detailed, in-depth advice for users.
These changes “build on enhancements” to current popular features, the blog post explained. Intelligent features in Microsoft Search and Microsoft Edge are also helping to improve productivity for users.
From the 28th of May, Microsoft Search will move to general availability, the company confirmed, bringing “access to the web and work into a single search experience”.
This will see the AI capabilities of Bing and Microsoft Graph converge to become one of the largest collections of data about how people work ever created, and will enable people to find, command, navigate and discover items across their organisation’s network.