Incident 177: Google’s Assistive Writing Feature Provided Allegedly Unnecessary and Clumsy Suggestions

Description: Google’s “inclusive language” feature prompting writers to consider alternatives to non-inclusive words reportedly also recommend alternatives for words such as “landlord” and “motherboard,” which critics said was a form of obtrusive, unnecessary, and bias-reinforcing speech-policing.


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Alleged: Google Docs developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed Google Docs users.

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Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam
Google’s AI-Powered ‘Inclusive Warnings’ Feature Is Very Broken · 2022

Starting this month—21 years after Microsoft turned off Clippy because people hated it so much—Google is rolling out a new feature called “assistive writing” that butts into your prose to make style and tone notes on word choice, concision,…

Big Brother (sorry, Big Person) is correcting you on Google · 2022

The online giant is rolling out an ‘inclusive language’ function that prompts authors to avoid using certain words and suggests replacements

Predictive text is known for saving writers from embarrassing grammatical mistakes or spelling bloo…

Google Docs criticised for 'woke' inclusive language suggestions · 2022

Google has been criticised for an "inclusive language" feature that will recommend word substitutions for people writing in Google Docs.

The tool will offer guidance to people writing in a way that "may not be inclusive to all readers" in a…

Google Docs' inclusive writing auto-correct under fire · 2022

The AI algorithms used by Google Docs to suggest edits to make writing more inclusive have been blasted for being annoying.

Language models are used in Google Docs for features like Smart Compose; it suggests words to autocomplete sentences…

Google launches ‘woke’ writing function touting ‘inclusive language’ · 2022

Google has rolled out a new “inclusive language” function that is intended to steer its users away from what it deems to be politically incorrect words, like “landlord” and “mankind.”

Google Docs introduced the “woke” feature this month tha…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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