PC language! Microsoft Word goes woke in 'one small step for humankind' – MailPlus

PC language! Microsoft Word goes woke in 'one small step for humankind' – MailPlus

PC language! Microsoft Word goes woke in 'one small step for humankind' – MailPlus 0 0 Alan Dickson

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Microsoft Word has introduced a new political correctness feature to encourage users to be more ‘woke’.
The feature, which is currently on Word and some of Microsoft’s web-based applications, aims to help users choose more ‘inclusive’ language by highlighting words or phrases that may cause offence.
The new feature brings up purple lines under written copy that might be biassed. It takes into account gender-specific language, age bias, cultural bias, sexual orientation bias and socioeconomic status.
Just like the software’s spelling and grammar checking tool, the feature can be switched off.
However, with Microsoft’s new feature some of the best-known speeches, phrases and songs may lose their impact somewhat…
In Barry Manilow’s hit song Copacabana, the protagonist Lola would now need to be referred to as a performing artist rather than a showgirl.
Simon and Garfunkel’s hit single Mrs Robinson would also require some tweaking, to a more politically correct Ms Robinson.
Outside the world of music, the new feature would make Neil Armstrong’s famous moon-landing line a little less impactful: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ doesn’t quite fit with the software’s woke requirements as it suggests ‘mankind’ should be changed to ‘humankind’ or ‘humanity’.
Among other things, the feature also suggests changing ‘headmaster’ to ‘principal’, ‘master’ to ‘expert’ and ‘manpower’ to ‘workforce’.
Sumit Chauhan, Microsoft corporate vice-president for engineering in Office, said that the purpose of the software was not to try to remove all of society’s problems, but instead to draw attention to areas where simple changes can be made to increase inclusivity, which may otherwise be blind spots for Word users.
‘In our products, we want to be thoughtful about stereotypes in the world and to make sure our AI is not reinforcing or amplifying those,’ Mr Chauhan said.
According to Microsoft’s website, the new feature has been introduced for those who want to ‘eliminate biases based on gender, age, ability and more’. Native speakers and linguistic experts from every country have been hired to give advice on the new language suggestions offered by the software.
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