SwiftKey will now be the first mobile keyboard app powered by neural networks. This means that the keyboard can more accurately predict what you’re about to type and correct. The popular mobile keyboard app was purchased by Microsoft earlier this year.
In addition, the London-based company demonstrated the technology last year through a new standalone app called the SwiftKey Neural Alpha app. SwiftKey was first launched in 2008, and it acquired a large Android following as an alternative to the stock keyboard apps on phones and tablets.
SwiftKey works by learning your writing style over time and predicts the next word before you start typing. It was based on historical patterns and scanning texts from other sources to “learn” widely used sequences. Regarding neural technology, SwiftKey said in a blog post:
For example, having previously seen the phrase ‘Let’s meet at the airport,’ the technology is able to infer that ‘office’ or ‘hotel’ are similar words which could also be appropriate predictions in place of ‘airport.’ Further, it understands that ‘Let’s meet at the airport’ has a similar sentence structure to ‘Let’s chat at the office.’ This intelligence allows SwiftKey to offer you the most appropriate prediction or autocorrection based on the sentence being typed.
Neural networks are similar to human brains, with many interconnected neurons. It is then trained, in advance, with real-world data.
Currently, the AI-augmented version is only available for English speakers in the US or the UK.