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Microsoft Word will use AI to make you a better writer

By Koh Wanzi - on 7 May 2019, 6:16pm

Microsoft Word will use AI to make you a better writer

You could soon get an AI companion in Microsoft Word. At its Build conference today, Microsoft announced a new feature called Ideas for the online version of Word that will help you clean up your copy. At its core, Ideas is all about making your writing more clear and concise, so it could be a big help if you struggle with writing.

Ideas goes beyond merely correcting grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. You can think of it as a grammar checker taken to the next logical step, and it uses machine learning to suggest corrections to phrases that could perhaps be clearer. If you somehow mangled a part of your sentence, Ideas will suggest a rewrite. 

On top of that, one of the more interesting aspects of Ideas is its supposed ability to help you write more inclusively. This basically means writing in a way that does not inadvertently exclude or put down individuals or members of a specific group. Word choice and phrasing is super important here, and while you may not have much use for this if you're just typing up the annual budget report, it could come in handy for reporters or marketers. 

Better still, Ideas can help make documents more readable as well. It can show you information on estimated read times, so you can get a rough idea of how long you'll need to get through something. On top of that, it can decode acronyms based on data it has about your company in the Microsoft Graph. If a document is particularly dense, Ideas can also extract key points so you can quickly get the gist of it without having to read the whole thing.

Ideas isn't just focused on words either. Formatting and presentation is important as well, and Ideas will add something called the Word Designer to help you style tables and other sections of a document.

The cloud-based tool will be available for preview sometime in June, with a wider rollout slated for later this year. Given how many businesses and people use Microsoft Word, Ideas looks like it could be a nifty productivity tool that the vast majority could benefit from. 

Source: Microsoft

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