SwiftKey, British company, which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. earlier this year, makes popular smartphone keyboard apps that predicts the next word while texting.
According to Washington Post, software updates that SwiftKey has introduced to select users late this week, will make those suggestions “increasingly accurate, increasingly personal, increasingly human,” said Co-Founder Ben Medlock.
SwiftKey predictions will now be powered by artificial neural networks that provide a more sophisticated analysis of written language, picking up on context clues and word usage in real time in an effort to replicate the human thought process. The technology, called Neural Nets, looks at an entire sentence, deciphers the relationship between words and assigns each word a code. It then searches for words with complementary codes and serves up those most likely to fit into the sentence.
For instance, the sentence; “I will meet you at the ………” the software (Neural Nets) would generate suggestions such as; “office,” “hotel,” “airport”.
“Neural networks have been around for a long time, really since the ’50s, but only fairly recently have people started to realize that given current levels of computing and given the amount of data that we have access to now, you can actually make these things work in a way that wasn’t possible even five or 10 years ago,” Medlock said.
More than 300 million mobile devices have deployed the SwiftKey technology since it became available on Android devices in 2010 and later on Apple devices in 2014.
Medlock said, the software will be rolling out to Android users later this month, and Apple will follow.