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Microsoft Word is getting AI-powered predictive text next month

The feature was first offered to Office Insiders back in September.

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Image: KnowTechie

Microsoft is bringing text predictions to Microsoft Word as early as next month. That’s according to a new entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, first spotted by Neowin.

The feature was first offered to Office Insiders back in September when word prediction was added to both Word and Outlook.

The system uses a machine learning model that uses the rest of the document to base its suggestions on, with Microsoft stating that the processing is all done on your computer, with content “not stored or seen by any human unless donated as part of the feedback mechanism.”

microsoft word text predictions at work
Image: Microsoft

It seems those tests went well, as Microsoft is now rolling it out to everyone using Microsoft 365. It’s enabled by default, giving the user suggestions while they type. Pressing Tab fills in the rest of the suggested word, and you can press Esc to reject the prediction. Over time, the system will learn from your typing style and get more accurate in its predictions.

You can also turn off text prediction, if you find it doesn’t help or if you’d prefer that your text isn’t being read by AI. Microsoft has how-to’s for both Word and Outlook, so keep a note of those for when the feature rolls out.

When Google’s Smart Compose text prediction was released, they left out the ability to predict gendered pronouns, as the system had difficulty suggesting the correct one. It’s too early to tell if Microsoft went the same route, or if their training model is more nuanced.

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