Autocorrect Fail! The Much-Needed Evolution for This Technology
We have all become dependent on technology and its offerings. When was the last time you had to remember a phone number, birthday, or driving directions? The real question is whether we have become overly dependent on technology.
One main feature many of us rely on daily is autocorrect. It comes built into content editors across processing and computing systems on our laptops and mobile devices, and we have all probably experienced the positive and negative sides of autocorrect, either in informal texts we send, formal reports we write up, or sensitive emails we compose. Even as I write this story, autocorrect is letting me know I spelled “feature” as “feaure” in my sentence above.
As savvy technology users, this is not something new to us. We have come to terms with what autocorrect has got to offer us as a package, and we know what kinds of setting changes we need to make to manage the feature. But there are some core elements we should consider for the future evolution of autocorrect.
One major need is for geography-sensitive suggestions. Autocorrect is certainly not just for a specific English-speaking market; global users are at play. Keeping in mind worldwide factors—and getting content tested accordingly, considering locale-specific nuances—is becoming increasingly important. If ignored, such context sensitivities could lead to huge issues that would be tough to resolve.
Google had to rectify a recent issue with incorrect image tagging its software performed. Autocorrect can also land itself in similar messes if context sensitivity is ignored. Although developers are making an attempt in new operating systems to understand preferences, autocorrect still has much room for improvement.
Predictive typing, which is more passive yet context-driven in nature, is slowly gaining prominence compared to autocorrect which is more active but sometimes lacks context. Organizations have to consider how to draw the right balance between these two and, more importantly, how to test them adequately to give a rich solution to end-users.
It is also an increasing concern among educational institutions how to help children build their writing skills voluntarily instead of depending on ready-made solutions like autocorrect. Whether in word-processing systems or email clients, autocorrect is ubiquitous, so it’s hard to teach against it—even though we know that, like spellcheck, autocorrect is not infallible.
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with autocorrect. It has certainly become an active part of our online lives, enough that it may be difficult to imagine a life without it. Hopefully, the evolution it needs to go through in coming years will increase the love quotient and bring down the hate.