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:
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.
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.