Google has revised its “Smart Compose” technology to avoid the icebergs that gender-based pronouns have become.
The technology routinely suggests what a Gmail writer might want to say next.
However, Google realized a few months ago that the technology did not conform to the sensibilities of the transgender era, Reuters reported.
Although various autocorrect mistakes have become both an embarrassment and an amusement in the era of smartphones, Google thought this was not something it wanted to deal with.
“Not all ‘screw ups’ are equal,” Gmail product manager Paul Lambert said. Gender is a “a big, big thing” to get wrong.
Lambert said that the issue came to the fore in January when a Google employee noticed that when Smart Compose offered a suggestion, it used the male pronoun.
The employee typed “I am meeting an investor next week.” Smart Compose suggested the next sentence read, “Do you want to meet him?”
Lambert said that Smart Compose was reflecting the fact that historically business and finance was male-dominated, and so it used a male pronoun instead of a female one.