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SwiftKey Keyboard on Android now uses a neural network for predictions

Starting today, SwiftKey Keyboard on Android will be powered by a neural network.

Published onSeptember 15, 2016

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Starting today, SwiftKey Keyboard on Android will be powered by a neural network.

Back in October 2015 SwiftKey released a standalone keyboard, called SwiftKey Neural, that changed the way the popular keyboard app made predictions. Now, instead of residing only in a separate keyboard app, this neural network technology is being folded into the standard SwiftKey Keyboard for Android we all know and love. This big update is being rolled out to Google Play as we speak.

So how will this change how SwiftKey predicts words? Here’s a very simplified explanation: instead of simply looking at the previous two words to suggest the next word you might use, this new neural network technology will look at the whole sentence to better suggest words you might want to use. For instance, older versions of SwiftKey might have suggested the word ‘first’, based solely on the two words ‘for the’ at the end of a sentence fragment. Now SwiftKey will look at the whole sentence. So if you type ‘We’re excited for the’, SwiftKey will now suggest a word like ‘party’, instead of ‘first’, which wouldn’t make much sense in context of the whole sentence. The SwiftKey team elaborates:

Further, it understands that “Let’s meet at the airport” has a similar sentence structure to “Let’s chat at the office”. This intelligence allows SwiftKey to offer you the most appropriate prediction or autocorrection based on the sentence being typed.

If you already have SwiftKey installed, head to the Google Play Store to update to the latest version. If you still need to give SwiftKey a try, follow the link below for the download. The company says it’ll be rolling out neural networks in its US English and UK English language models, with more languages to come.

If you’re interested in learning more about how this neural network stuff works, SwiftKey has provided a handy infographic, which you can find attached below:

Swiftkey neural network infographic