Microsoft has introduced a new political correctness (PC) feature tool to help users make their writing more “inclusive”.
The feature, which is now available in Word (though disabled by default) as well as on some Microsoft’s web-based apps offers tips on better PC writing, by highlighting phrases or words that might cause offence.
In the latest update, a purple line appears under the text that Microsoft’s powerful AI determines might “imply bias”, and provides alternatives to the phase being written.
Just like other spelling and gramme tools, this feature can be disabled.
What PC terms can it help with?
Among the areas that this new feature looks for are bias around age, culture, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status.
Examples include, changing “blacklist” and “whitelist” to “accepted” or “allowed list,” or swapping the gender-specific terms such as “postman” to “postal worker.” Similarly words such as “humanity” or “humankind” will now be suggested in place of words like “mankind,” and Word will prefers terms like “expert” or “teacher” over words like “master”.
Microsoft provides users will full control over the feature, allowing you the ability to turn on or off all or some inclusivity features. This means you could have checks in place for gender bias but ignore ethnic slurs if you wish.