At Build 2019, Microsoft announced a new AI-powered editor feature for Word that will be able to suggest grammar changes, improve clarity and concision, explain acronyms, and even estimate reading time. Microsoft is calling this feature Ideas and it is still under development, with preview slated to roll out in June. This new feature is expected to arrive for all users in fall, and should compete with services like Grammarly when it arrives.
The Ideas for Word feature will use AI to do varied tasks like catch basic grammar errors, recommend rewriting of phrases to make it more concise, inclusive, and clear. The feature will additionally be able to estimate reading time of the document, highlight key points from a large document, and even explain acronyms in the text. Using these additions, a user can avoid reading through a particularly long document, and just skim through the pages.
The AI-powered editor will only provide intelligent suggestions, but won’t really change anything until you approve it. It comes into frame from the right edge of the screen. Microsoft Word currently has a proof-reading feature, but Ideas for Word brings a whole lot more, other than just spell check. As mentioned, Ideas for Word will be available in preview sometime in June, and the feature will arrive for all users in the fall.
“Ideas follows along as you write and provides intelligent suggestions to make your writing more concise, readable, and inclusive. It can even use machine learning to suggest a rewrite for a tricky phrase. Ideas will also help when you’re reading documents by providing estimated reading times, extracting key points, and decoding acronyms using data from the Microsoft Graph,” the company explains.
At the conference, Microsoft also announced Inline task in Word allowing users to @mention someone in a document. This will allow users to assign colleague a task, aski a question, or prompt a quick review without ever leaving the document. The company says that inline tasks will arrive in Word Online this late summer.