Why does phone autocorrect sometimes forget simple words?



I was halfway through typing the word “different”, and only got suggestions for “differences”, “differentiations” etc but “different” appeared in quotation marks as though I was inventing it.

In: Technology

ELI5: phones today use a variety of machine learning techniques to try and guess what you’re about to type. More often than not, these algorithms sacrifice accuracy for speed since phones have limited power.

Fuller explanation: autocorrect has been making progress for a while now. Your phone has language models built on massive datasets but also builds a dataset just from you. It tries to learn and anticipate what you’re going to say and it uses that predictive bias against whatever you’re actually typing. Once recently I was trying to type something like “Denmark” which is a very difference shape than “differences” but my phone was absolutely certain I was trying to type differences. Differences is a more common word by far than Denmark, so it figured that the chances of me meaning to say differences was way higher. This particular concept is called Bayes Theorem.

Also if you accidentally decline a suggestion, your phone will remember that for a short time and not suggest it again. Usually.

I want to know why my phone can’t figure out that I mean “red apple” when I type “red.apple”

There are two primary modes for autocorrect: offline and online. When you do not disable the internets feed of your errors to the big pile of mispesls in the cloud [sic] the results you receive are influenced by the relative illiteracy of other finger typers and swipers.

If you want your fixes to have a longer shelf life set them to be yours and yours alone by disabling the internets features of your keyboard.