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Google Docs Gets A Grammar Checker That Relies On Machine Translation

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Google is putting its AI to work to make you a better writer.

The company is finally adding a grammar check feature to Google Docs — one that will be able to address even complicated grammatical errors. The new feature was announced at the Google Cloud Next conference, alongside updates to its automated email-writing features.

Google Docs, the company’s online word processing service, enables any Google account owner to create documents for free. The platform is fairly robust, offering many of the basic features needed for document creation and collaboration.

How it works

The most used extension spell-checking tool is Grammarly. Well, Grammarly is getting some competition in the form of a new machine learning-based grammar checker from Google that’s soon going live in Google Docs.  The new update which uses artificial intelligence to identify grammar issues and mistakes, such as using “a” instead of “an,” as well as more complex issues, such as the improper use of subordinate clauses. Google’s machine learning technology will learn over time to better identify these mistakes, improving the tool’s ability to refine written documents.

The new tool doesn’t automatically fix these grammar mistakes, instead presenting suggested changes that the user can accept or dismiss. The feature has already arrived for Google Docs users in the Early Adopter Program and will roll out to others in the future.

Google’s VP for G Suite product management David Thacker said in a press briefing:

“We’ve adopted a highly effective approach to grammar correction that is machine translation-based,”. And “For example, in language translation, you take a language like French and translate it into English. Our approach to grammar is similar. We take improper English and use our technology to correct or translated it into proper English. What’s nice about this is that the language translations is a technology that we have a long history of doing well.”

The grammar check feature won’t be widely available right away. It’s launching first for business users, and it’ll be enabled by a company’s administrator in order for users to test it. They’ll be able to start doing that today; Google didn’t say when the feature would be released to all their consumer accounts worldwide or which languages the feature would support at launch.

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