iPhone’s ‘ducking’ autocorrect problem finally gets fixed
NEW YORK (CNN) — Your iPhone’s autocorrect is getting a big “ducking” upgrade.
Currently, when you enter a typo or key in an unrecognized word, Apple’s iOS uses some onboard machine learning and references a library of frequent misspellings to automatically correct your mistake. But, as anyone who has ever been seriously annoyed has learned, sometimes your correctly spelled salty language will get changed to something else entirely.
In the new iOS 17, announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, a new kind of artificial intelligence-powered autocorrect could solve that problem.
Apple’s new iOS keyboard will learn your habits over time, fixing words that you frequently misspell and leaving words alone that you intentionally thumbed in. It will also use AI to better predict your next word and provide improved autofill suggestions.
“In those moments where you just want to type a ‘ducking’ word, well, the keyboard will learn it, too,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s head of software, during Apple’s presentation.
Using a so-called transformer language model, similar to the technology that powers ChatGPT, Federighi said the new iOS will be able to fix entire sentences based on context. For example, Apple will know to change “your” to “you’re” when you’ve completed a sentence using the incorrect word.
The new iOS will also allow you to revert to the original word you typed by tapping on the change, and it will learn from your habits over time.
Predictive text is also getting better, allowing people to tap the spacebar to fill in words and complete entire sentences in some cases. Dictation is also getting some improvements, as Apple’s new keyboard engine will learn your voice over time.
Apple is banking on its in-house processor, also announced at the conference, to power the language model each time a user interacts with the keyboard.
The makeover to the keyboard and autocorrect will be in the new iOS 17 slated for later this year.