By: Nick Gambino
When you read my articles, the first thing you’re most likely struck by is my impeccable spelling and grammar. While I’d like to take all the credit for this near superhero ability, a lot of it is due to the use of a grammar and spell checker. So the idea of a learning grammar checker that only further decreases the possibility of mistakes piques my interest.
In summer 2018 Google introduced a new AI-powered grammar checker to Google Docs. While the tool was a welcome addition, the feature was not automatically turned on for users. This led to many not using it or even knowing of its existence. Google has now added it as a live feature to Google Docs and is available for all G Suite users.
This tool works by using machine translation which is normally reserved for translating between languages like German to Italian. Instead of language to language, this checker works to translate your English mistakes into something more intelligible. For example, if you wrote a phrase like “we make the following recommendations that might affect persons,” it might change it to “we make the following recommendations that might affect people.” It corrects the incorrect use of punctuation, improper tense or, as in the example above, incorrect words.
“Using machine translation, we are able to recognize errors and suggest corrections as work is getting done. We worked closely with linguists to decipher the rules for the machine translation model and used this as the foundation of automatic suggestions in your Docs, all powered by AI,” G Suite product manager, Vishnu Sivaji, said in the blog post announcing it. “In doing so, machine translation techniques can catch a range of different corrections, from simple grammatical concepts such as how to use subordinate clauses correctly.”
While the grammar checker has now been added as a live feature, realize it’s only available to business users as part of G Suite. I think we can expect it to be released to all Google Doc users at some point, because why wouldn’t they.