A new “inclusive language” feature has reportedly been put on pause by Google. The function in questions was designed to replace words and phrases in Google Docs that it classifies as politically incorrect.
This past Tuesday in a released statement, Jenny Thomson, a spokeswoman for Google, compared this new feature on the platform to a “thesaurus or spell checker,” highlighting that Google is “committed to making Google Docs helpful for everybody.”
“It’s a form of AI that uses language understanding models, based on millions of common phrases and sentences, to automatically learn how people communicate and suggest changes,” she stated by way of explanation.
“However,” she stated, “inclusive language suggestions—an assisted writing feature—can over or undercorrect certain phrases. We’re looking more carefully at the inclusive language suggestions and have paused those for further review while we continue to improve this feature.”
Reportedly, this new feature would show warning pop-ups about the use of supposed non-inclusive words such as “policeman,” “Fireman,” or “housewife,” reported a release from The New York Post. The outlet also reported that the feature would suggest the use of the word “humankind” over using “mankind” or “police officer” instead of using “policeman.”
A group of writers for Vice, who were selected to test out the feature, discovered that the words “annoyed” and “Motherboard” were being flagged by the system for being non-inclusive despite the fact that a wildly racist transcription from an interview with a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, was not flagged at all.
In the same vein, as reported by Vice, the new feature put out the suggestion that Martin Luther King Jr. should have told civil rights leaders should act with “the intense urgency of now” instead of “the fierce urgency of now” in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
The feature also seemed to suggest that former President John F. Kennedy should have thought to swap “for all humankind” for the phrase “for all mankind” in his famous inaugural address, as reported by Vice, and that Jesus Christ should have said “lovely,” “great,” or “marvelous” instead of “wonderful” for the Sermon on the Mount.
This new feature, which has been taken down from Google Docs as of noon Tuesday, seems to come forward as conservative groups continue to look for creative alternative options to woke businesses, corporations, and social media platforms, such as the new credit card Coign, former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social, a new platform named GETTR, and the global internet infrastructure company, RightForge.
The news that the feature has been placed on hold comes right after a large amount of criticism that the feature was overtly intrusive, woke, and “very broken,” as Vice stated.
The whole feature was called Orwellian by Transgender activist Debbie Hayton who suggested, “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”
"Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it."
– George Orwellhttps://t.co/D9An9jPgOc
— Debbie Hayton 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 (@DebbieHayton) April 25, 2022
“Google’s new word warnings aren’t assistive, they’re deeply intrusive,” stated Big Brother Watch’s Silkie Carlo to the Sunday Telegraph. “This speech-policing is profoundly clumsy, creepy and wrong, often reinforcing bias.”