Review: Google Turns Off ‘Newspeak’ Correction Tool (For Now)

“We’re looking more carefully at the inclusive language suggestions and also have paused those for further review”

Google claims that it has disabled a feature inside its document editor that was correcting language to make it ‘ more inclusive’, but just while it refines the future to be able to work more effectively.

As we reported Monday, Google Docs was trialling ‘ inclusive warnings’, which act like a language checker, suggesting that users refrain from using terms for example ‘ policeman’ or ‘ landlord’, because they are gendered, and words like ‘ fierce’ and ‘ annoyed’ to be threatening.

Experts (even ones with offers a flags in the bio) compared the move to the Ministry of Truth from Orwell’s 1984, policing language and making sure that its  Newspeak   is applied whenever necessary.

Now, pursuing the backlash, The Daily Cable notes that Google will be pausing the tool.

Google spokeswoman Jenny Thomson told the outlet that “ inclusive language suggestions— an assisted writing feature— can over or undercorrect certain phrases. We’re searching more carefully at the inclusive language suggestions and have paused those for further review whilst we continue to improve this feature. ”

In a creepy admission, Thomson noted that the feature is definitely “ a form of AI that uses language understanding models, based on millions of common terms and sentences, to instantly learn how people communicate plus suggest changes. ”

In comments to the Telegraph , Big Brother Watch’s Silkie Carlo urged that “ Google’s new word warnings do not get assistive, they’re deeply intrusive, ” adding that “ This speech-policing is profoundly clumsy, creepy and incorrect, often reinforcing bias. ”

The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of appearance for the world-view and psychological habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to produce all other modes of thought impossible.

There was clearly no vocabulary expressing the particular function of Science as being a habit of mind, or a method of thought irrespective of the particular branches. There was, certainly, no word for ‘ Technology, ‘ any meaning that it could actually bear being already sufficiently covered by the word Ingsoc.  

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