Google has launched an ‘inclusive language’ function which is primarily designed to prevent the usage of politically incorrect words. The new function will make its debut with Google Docs wherein writers flash warnings will be given to writers if they use particular phrases and words that may not be inclusive to readers.
In addition, writers will be urged to use different words from the recommended list of acceptable words.
Which words are ‘not inclusive’ according to Google?
There are plenty of words that will be deemed ‘not inclusive’ by Google. While users in different parts of the world may not understand the process behind the categorization, Google is most likely to go ahead with this change.
One of the words Google does not think is ‘inclusive’ is “landlord”. The company suggests that writers should use words such as “proprietor” or “property owner” instead.
Some other gender-inclusive alternatives include “police offers” for “policemen”, “stay-at-home-spouse” for “housewife”, and “humankind” for “mankind”. Google Doc will also object to using technical terms including “motherboard”, which is a term used for the circuit board that contains the core components of a computer or any other device.
If a writer includes any of the words mentioned above, users will be greeted with an “inclusive warning”. The warning will urge them to use alternative words as some of the words they have used may not be “inclusive” to all readers.
Google draws criticism from ‘free speech advocates
A lot of computer document systems use tools to rectify grammar and spelling. However, urging users to use alternatives for particular words has garnered considerable criticism for being “intrusive” and a barrier to free expression.
According to Silkie Carlo, the Director of Big Brother Watch, Google’s new word warnings are not assistive, but intrusive. He says that more than helping writers create a better piece of content, the new tool is telling them what should be written.
A few weeks ago, Google offered a guide for writing inclusive documents. The document suggested users make use of “baffling” instead of crazy”, and “older adults” instead of “the elderly”.
Where will see Google’s new language function?
Google is currently launching the new Google Docs program which features the ‘inclusive language’ warning function for enterprise-level users. It will be turned on by default.
The company said that this feature is an “ongoing development” that is built to determine and get rid of unwanted word biases.
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