Google Docs has stealthily introduced an inclusive language function that pushes users to direct their texts in the right (read: left) direction based on the company’s feelings about the concepts of inclusiveness and propriety.
“These new features offer a variety of stylistic and writing suggestions as you compose documents,” the tech giant advertised its latest improvement on its Blog, which is currently available—and unavoidable since it’s switched on by default—for professional users only.
Google’s AI-driven predictive text editing add-on will spontaneously pop up if it feels the end user’s writing is not in line with the company’s standards for what it regards as equity and inclusiveness, and it will prompt the writer to choose alternatives that it deems more progressive and less offensive.
“Suggestions will appear as you type and help guide you when there are opportunities to avoid repeated or unnecessary words, helping diversify your writing and ensuring you’re using the most effective word for the situation,” the Blog stated.
Behind the red line
For instance, if you type in “landlord,” Google will suggest you’d better use an “inclusive” term like “property owner” or “proprietor.”
The same goes for words like “mankind” and, of course, “housewife,” which, Google feels, should be converted into “humankind’ and “stay-at-home-spouse,” respectively.
Also, it’s okay if you’re “angry” or “upset,” but it’s not good to be “annoyed,” according to the self-censoring tool. “Annoyed” is not nice, or maybe being annoyed is too offensive—who knows?
Furthermore, your computer will no longer have a “motherboard,” as that term is now flagged as having a derogatory connotation.
However, Google’s well-groomed silicon referee did not offer any appropriate alternatives for the printed circuit panel in your computer, so it’s probably prudent to err on the side of safety and settle on something like “humanboard” for now.
CENSORSHIP AND CULTURAL DECAY:
- YouTube Erases Dislike Count, Claims Change Is For ‘Creators’ Sake’
- In Silencing Conservative Voices, Big Tech Takes the Chinese Communist Path
- Microsoft President: AI May Transform Life Into Orwell’s 1984, China’s AI Dominance a Significant Threat
- YouTube 1984
It’s remarkable, as The Telegraph noted, however, that hate speech from former KKK chief David Duke laced with racist slurs in which he spoke about hunting black people was allowed to walk unhindered past Google’s truthboth guardians.
To the contrary, according to the outlet, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famed I Have a Dream speech didn’t pass the test. Google pontificated that King shouldn’t have used the phrase “the fierce urgency of now,” and instead have replaced it with “the intense urgency of now.”
Apparently, former President John F. Kennedy wasn’t totally awake at the time of his inaugural address, either, when he used the term “for all mankind.”
Google was quick to correct JFK to “for all humankind.”
Even Jesus Christ had the audacity to use the word “marvelous” in his Sermon on the Mount, enraging the Google sentry bots who seem to be assured marvels don’t happen. Instead, they felt “lovely” is good enough.
Oldspeak and Newspeak
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course, the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well.”
Above is a quote from George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, 1984, in which he paints a future society wherein all superfluous language will be abandoned.
In the novel, a Ministry of Truth oversees the gradual abolishment of the old ways of saying things, Oldspeak, and have them replaced by more politically apropos warnings, categorized as Newspeak.
Not only is our society becoming eerily similar to that painted in the book, but Orwell also made some unambiguous predictions about our present age and our immediate future.
“By 2050, earlier, probably – all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed,” the book read.
“Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron – they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be,” Orwell wrote, ominously adding:
“The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now.”