Google has launched a new ‘inclusive language’ tool which flags up un-woke words such as ‘landlord’ and ‘housewife’ and suggests politically correct alternatives. The Sun has more.
Google’s suggestions for alternatives to ‘landlord’ include ‘property owner’ or ‘proprietor’.
Others include changing ‘mankind’ to ‘humankind’, ‘policemen’ to ‘police officers’ and ‘housewife’ to ‘stay-at-home-spouse’. It even objects to ‘motherboard’, the tech term for a computer’s circuit board.
If a writer uses terms deemed un-PC by Google a message pops up that reads: “Inclusive warning. Some of these words may not be inclusive to all readers. Consider using different words.”
Silkie Carlo, of Big Brother Watch, called it “deeply intrusive”, adding: “Google is not only reading every word you type but telling you what to type.
“This speech-policing is profoundly clumsy, creepy and wrong, often reinforcing bias. Invasive tech like this undermines privacy, freedom of expression and increasingly freedom of thought.”
The Google Docs program, which includes the new warnings function, is initially being rolled out to certain business users and is turned on by default.
Google said: “Our technology is always improving and we don’t yet have a solution to identifying and mitigating all unwanted word associations and biases.”
The Times has written a longer piece about Google’s thought policing in which it points out that the new tool also suggests synonyms to help sentences flow better. For instance, if you use Martin Luther King’s phrase “the fierce urgency of now” it suggests “the intense urgency of now” instead.