Analysis: Google Docs’ new ‘assistive writing’ feature will recommend ‘woker’ language

by Trinity Cardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


If you’ve ever written about computer hardware and felt like the word “motherboard” was too reductive – to, presumably, the inanimate object to which you were referring – then the people of Alphabet have just the feature to bring your writing into current year.

That is, of course, unless you are former head of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. In that case, your language has more than passed the woke smell test and you can proceed uninterrupted in sharing your Google-approved messaging.

In its most recent update, Alphabet revealed that Google Docs will now offer a new artificial intelligence feature, known as assistive writing, that will highlight language that does not square with modern politically correct sensibilities.

“We’ve added several new assistive writing features in Google Docs, which will provide a variety of tone and style suggestions to help you create impactful documents faster,” an announcement on the Google blog reads.

Most changes are unlikely to draw criticism – active voice, word choice, and conciseness are politically neutral ambitions for all – save Gen Z “journalists,” who can write north of 1,000 words explaining comedy to comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

However, two of the five new features, “inclusive language” and “word warnings,” have drawn the ire of people of all types. The former is there to harangue writers for failing to use personkind instead of mankind while the latter will serve as a warning that the writer is using words likely to inspire a cancel culture uprising, or at least an old school Twitter dog-pile.

Leaving aside the fact that virtually every word is likely to offend someone, somewhere, the new AI is perhaps the least tolerant sentient being on the internet; and both Joe Biden and Don Lemon are on social media.

In an odd coincidence, assistive writing has become the online version of a pre-1950s member of the Southern gentry, able to get the vapors over words like policeman, fireman, and annoyed, but perfectly comfortable with the n-word.

As revealed by the Rupert Murdock-owned New York Post and ultra-leftist Vice, numerous tests show that assistive writing is more likely to recommend a rewording of speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King than the aforementioned Duke.

Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was flagged by the AI for using the phrase “the fierce urgency of now” when the preferred verbiage is “the intense urgency of now.”

Similarly, former President John F. Kennedy sinned against the church of tolerance by using the phrase “for all mankind” rather than humankind in his inaugural address.

Not even the words of our Lord and Savior were good enough for assistive writing.

In some translations, during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus used the word marvelous. Google would have preferred Christ say lovely.

White supremacists can rejoice, though, as the transcript of an interview with Duke – one featuring numerous slurs and objectively racist comments about people of color – met Google’s standard.

“Assisted writing uses language understanding models, which rely on millions of common phrases and sentences to automatically learn how people communicate,” a Google representative told the Post. “This also means they can reflect some human cognitive biases. Our technology is always improving, and we don’t yet (and may never) have a complete solution to identifying and mitigating all unwanted word associations and biases.”

The representative’s statement might raise concerns in the AI – did the models reflect body positivity? – but it also gives away the game for Google users.

The AI is broken and will stay that way.

This is great news.

Now, you can turn off the woke-ometer, which can be achieved by either turning off suggestions (click tools, then stylistic suggestions to open the correct menu), and return to writing unmolested.

If helping Google is your desire, wait until a purple line appears under a word or phrase, then right click and reject the recommendation.