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The +Slate article below takes a look at one of the contemporary "hard problems" facing AI researchers -- autocomplete. Helping you find what you're looking for, even when you don't type it right in the search box, involves a lot more than consulting an internal dictionary. It requires understanding the meaning of your sentence or phrase. Read on to find out how Google knows you want "American Idol" when you type "American Idle," and how the browser is getting smarter every day.
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15 comments
 
What if you can not see 3D, thanks to a drunk driver injuring me years ago.
 
Google's spell check is a great help to me. One of my problems is I spell Kat and Dawg wrong and need help correcting words. When I first started using it, many of the tech words I used it did not know but over time it learned. Now it just needs to learn that most off my errors come from hitting the key next to the one I desired. My head injury still inhibits my fine motor control. Very hard to do hand writing, but I can hunt and peck type with one finger.
 
While I understand how "predictive correction" is likely essential more often than not, given that a significant percentage of computer users who are Gen-Xers or Millenials can't spell the easy words right when there is no context, as well as with the predilection for typos amongst all computer users, I find that I often have to "uncorrect the correction," for I meant what I typed, not what the heuristics involved in Autocomplete thinks I really meant. C'est la vie.
 
+Dean Holyer I get quite a few of those typos where I'm one key off too, but I've yet to do that in Google Docs, but Chrome's Spell Checker is adequate for picking those up, but it's usually quicker for me to manually correct the typo because I'd otherwise spend more time moving the mouse pointer to the correct word. In my case, it's predominantly a vision problem when the lighting on the keyboard is too dim and I'm trying to look at both monitor and keyboard simultaneously..

I would also have the problem of having to "teach" Autocorrect's Spell Checker new words with all of the technical terminology that I use.
 
Chuck I had the same problem at first but it seems slowly Google's spell check picked up on tech terms. Guess the word addition depends on how offten the word is used by others. It still does not like some common German or Spanish words I use
 
Or Latin (e.g. 'a priori', 'a posteriori', 'prima facie'), or French (e.g., 'Faux pas', 'merci beaucoups') I'll bet.

As an undergrad Philosophy major with a lot of Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, ansd Psychophysics thrown in for good measure, there are likely to be enough English words that Google would have to learn, without going into foreign languages, much less throwing in the occasional umlaut, circumflex, tilde, etc., although spell checkers in general are much more sophisticated than they were in the mid to late '80s when I was in College.
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