SwiftKey’s new Neural keyboard will offer better word predictions thanks to neural network technology

by: Jimmy WestenbergOctober 8, 2015
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Swiftkey Neural

Back in April the SwiftKey team announced its new Greenhouse initiative that would act as a platform for which to debut experimental projects to the public. Among the first applications to come from the Greenhouse were a new Clarity keyboard which aimed to eliminate as many distractions as possible, as well as a smart hexagonal launcher for your home screen called Hexy Launcher.

Today we’re getting a first look at the next project to come from the Greenhouse, and it’s pretty awesome. SwiftKey’s new Neural keyboard is quite similar to the standard SwiftKey keyboard, but with a big twist. The software that powers SwiftKey Neural’s text prediction actually uses artificial neural networks to predict what it thinks you’ll want to type next. It does so by not only understanding more complex word relationships, but also analyzing longer sentence context.

Take a look at the comparison below to get a better look:

Comparison-1-6

Because this new neural network model looks at entire sentences rather than only two or three words at a time, the keyboard will be able to better predict what it thinks you’re planning on saying. So with the current ‘n-gram’ model as laid out in the image above, the keyboard predicts that the next word you might say will be ‘look’, based solely on the two words ‘take a’ at the end of the sentence fragment. But with the neural network model, the keyboard will predict words based on the entire sentence.

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SwiftKey Neural is currently in the alpha stage, and we imagine it will stay in that form for quite some time. Of course there’s still a lot of work to do with this new text prediction technology, but so far after a few minutes of testing, it’s working really well so far. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, head to the Play Store link below for the download.

Download SwiftKey Neural from Google Play
  • LiterofCola

    Installing right meow.

  • Spruce Cycle

    Nothing neural abt this. Pure marketing bullshit.

    • Chris

      So true lol but trying anyways

    • slashy

      “neural network language models” are a thing (http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Neural_net_language_models) and this keyboards technology is using them. So yes, there is in fact a lot “neural” about this.

      • Spruce Cycle

        “Are a thing” typical doper language. If you wanna be sucked in by the marketing dept go right ahead idgaf u douches deserve to have all ur money stripped from u cuz u stoopid.

        • Rob

          >Spruce Cycle If only this guy’s brain could predict what he was going to say before it came out of his mouth.

          • Spruce Cycle

            “Rob is a moron”, there.

          • Rob

            Buh huh huh.

        • slashy

          Wow, I figured you were dumb the moment you called neural networks marketing bullshit, but now that you write more I can’t belive HOW dumb you actually are.

          Also let me guess why you are so butthurt, the keyboard doesn’t detect your “language” or whatever you might call that shit your fingers are typing right there, right? Yea, guessed so!

          • Spruce Cycle

            ^sucks down marketing like it’s some dudes epeen haha

          • slashy

            I take it you seem to know a thing a two about sucking “peens”?
            btw, it’s not marketing, it’s science. But what do I even try to teach you… teaching this to a monkey would be easier. You probably missed school since 3rd grade judging by the way you type AND act.

            And now to get you even more hyped, here’s the thing: I won’t be arguing with you anymore, leave all the shit you want here. You go buddy!

          • Spruce Cycle

            “btw, it’s not marketing, it’s science” BAHAHAHAHA!!!

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    • jrop

      Neural networks are in fact a type of algorithm in computer science that approximate output based on features of input (in this case the sequence of words leading up to prediction).

      • Spruce Cycle

        ^stop drinking kool aid.

  • Daggett Beaver

    I only use buttery smooth Google keyboard, because I refuse to taint my buttery smooth Nexus and its buttery smooth Pure Android with impure, non-Google software.

    • Rishabh

      Touchpal is a great but less-explored option. It provides a near nexus like keyboard with additional options which can be completely customized to suit your needs. I used to like the swype keyboard but it seems to have changed for the worse.

  • Jonathan Kramer

    Yep me too.. giving it a try though there are only two themes.. Was very happy with the paid Switfkey app so we’ll see if this one is better. Sure wish they’d make changes to the layout for people like me whose fingers are a bit larger though :)

  • Albin

    I’m planning on cosmetic brain surgery to make my mind work like this keyboard.