Google blasted for being ‘intrusive and invasive’ with speech rules
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The “inclusive language” function being rolled out on Google Docs prompts users over certain terms and suggests replacements. Words the online giant takes exception to include “landlord”, which it says “may not be inclusive to all readers”. It proposes “property owner” or “proprietor” as more acceptable alternatives. The word “mankind” also prompts an alert, with “humankind” offered as a replacement.
And the tech giant also suggests swapping “policemen” to “police officers” and “housewife” to “stay-at-home-spouse”.
A message pops up which reads: “Inclusive warning. Some of these words may not be inclusive to all readers. Consider using different words.”
Silkie Carlo, the director of Big Brother Watch, said the function was “deeply intrusive”.
She said: “With Google’s new assistive writing tool, the company is not only reading every word you type but telling you what to type.
“This speech-policing is profoundly clumsy, creepy and wrong, often reinforcing bias.
“Invasive tech like this undermines privacy, freedom of expression and increasingly freedom of thought.”
Google said: “We don’t yet (and may never) have a complete solution to identifying all unwanted word associations and biases.”
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