AMITIAE - Saturday 8 February 2014

Cassandra: Autocorrect Errors to be Fixed

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By Graham K. Rogers


When Steve Jobs was demonstrating the iPhone, he showed the way to type text messages, including the use of autocorrect. He said we should trust it to complete the words for us. This would save time and . . . As anyone will know who does use the iPhone, Autocorrect can also produce some embarrassing results. Of course, if they are from someone else's messages, they are hilarious; but it is easy to imagine a situation in which a personal disaster might happen.

Writing on AppleInsider, Mikey Campbell reports on a couple of patents granted to Apple - more than 40 were granted in the last week or so. One of these describes "a unique autocorrect system". The other is for the "keyboard language [to be] automatically selected based on contextual cues".

The enhanced autocorrect enables the sender to check before the message is sent. The article by Mikey Campbell has a fuller explanation of how the enhanced features should work, although my experience with editing suggests that many would not notice a wrong word.

If this does work as intended, and the errors are removed (or at least reduced), we may be protected from the embarrassment of those mistakes, but we would also be denied the humour from such examples as may be found on the Damn You Autocorrect site. And if that is not enough, try a Google search for "autocorrect errors".

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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