Microsoft adds AI-powered text predictions to Word

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Machine learning will be added to the existing text predictive feature

According to the latest Microsoft Road Map, the company plans to add AI-powered text predictions to Word users starting in March of 2021.

Microsoft first introduced “test predictions” last year to both Word and Outlook. They announced in a blog post at that time that it was available to 50% of Windows Beta Channels for each app.

“Text predictions help users write more efficiently by predicting text quickly and accurately,” they explained. “The feature reduces spelling and grammar errors and learns over time to give the best recommendations based on your writing style.” 

How it works 

Users just need to start typing in a document in Word or in an email message in Outlook. Then, predictions start appearing. The user can then press the TAB key to accept a prediction and the ESC key to reject it. 

In addition, they referenced the machine learning (ML) aspect of the feature. “Text prediction learns and improves over time,” they wrote. The Beta users were given the ability to turn the feature on and off as they wished.

Microsoft notes that no data will “leave the tenant boundary” and no human will see it unless “donated as part of the feedback mechanism.” Word users can navigate to Help > Feedback to send any complaints or suggestions to Microsoft.

New roadmap entries reveal the rollout dates

Now, according to a recent entry to the Microsoft 365 roadmap, text predictions will roll out to Microsoft Word users in March. Earlier this month, Microsoft also started rolling out text prediction support to Outlook users.

There is also a roadmap entry promising to add the AI-powered text prediction feature to Outlook iOS as well. However, this rollout date is simply put as “CY2021.”