Google in the month of May has announced a slick feature for the Gmail which will automatically complete sentences for the users as they type. Click out “I Love,” and the Gmail might give you suggestions like the “you” or “it.”
But users are out of luck if the object of their affection is either “her” or “him.”
Google latest algorithm technology will not suggest gender-based pronouns because the risk is too high that its “smart compose” technology which might predict someone sex or the gender identity incorrectly and offend user’s product leaders revealed in a report.
Gmail product manager Paul Lambert said a company research scientist discovered the problem in January when he typed “I am meeting an investor next week,” and Smart Compose suggested a possible follow-up question: “Do you want to meet him?” instead of “her.”
People have become accustomed to embarrassing gaffles from the autocorrect on the smartphones. But Google has refused to take the chances at a time when the gender issues are reshaping the politics and society, and critics are scrutinizing potential biases in Artificial Intelligence like never before.
“Not all ‘screw-ups’ are equal,” Lambert said. Gender is an “a big, big thing” to get wrong.
Gmail has around 2 billion users and Lambert revealed that the smart compose assists on 11 percent of the messages across the globe which is going to send from the Gmail.com, where the feature was first launched.
Smart Compose feature is an example of what the developers of the Artificial Intelligence call Natural Language Generation, in which computers learn to write sentences by studying the patterns and relationships between the words in literature, web pages, and emails.
“The only reliable technique we have is to be conservative,” said Prabhakar Raghavan, who oversaw engineering of Gmail and other services until a recent promotion.