Google has reportedly paused an “inclusive language” function that replaces words in Google Docs that it deems politically incorrect.
In a Tuesday afternoon statement to The Daily Wire, Google spokeswoman Jenny Thomson compared the feature to a “thesaurus or spell checker,” noting 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 explained.
“However,” she noted, “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.”
The feature would reportedly show pop-up warnings about supposed non-inclusive words like “policeman,” “fireman” or “housewife,” according to The New York Post. The publication reported that the feature might suggest the word “humankind” instead of “mankind” or “police officer” instead of “policeman.”
Writers for Vice who tested the feature reportedly found that the words “annoyed’ and “Motherboard” were flagged for being non-inclusive, while a wildly racist transcription of an interview with former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was not flagged.
Meanwhile, according to Vice, the feature suggested that Martin Luther King Jr. should have said civil rights leaders should act with “the intense urgency of now” rather than “the fierce urgency of now” in his acclaimed “I Have a Dream” speech.
It also suggested former President John F. Kennedy should have swapped “for all humankind” for the phrase “for all mankind” in his inaugural address, according to Vice, and that Jesus Christ should have used the word “lovely,” “great,” or “marvelous” rather than “wonderful” in the Sermon on the Mount.
The feature, which was not currently in place on Google Docs as of noon on Tuesday, comes as conservatives increasingly look to create alternative options to woke corporations, businesses, and social media platforms, such as the new credit card Coign, the social media platform GETTR, former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social, and the global internet infrastructure company, RightForge.
News that it has been paused followed criticism that the feature was intrusive, woke and “very broken,” as Vice reported.
Transgender activist Debbie Hayton suggested that Google’s inclusivity feature was Orwellian, tweeting, “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,” Big Brother Watch’s Silkie Carlo told the Sunday Telegraph. “This speech-policing is profoundly clumsy, creepy and wrong, often reinforcing bias.”