Saturday, November 17, 2012

Spell checkers advance?

I was looking up a Kindle book on Amazon, and I had typed in "Mocke..." when my iPad's auto-complete suggested "Mockenhaupt", which was actually the name of the author I was looking for! (Brian Mockenhaupt, interviewed on TKC.)

I wonder if the auto-complete software have new ways of working, where it is getting word lists from much wider and fresher sources than the built-in lists they traditionally have? I wonder how that works. They can't just scour web pages willy-nilly, they'd get all kinds of junk and "misspelligs", as it were.

Hmmm... it seems not, because it does not work now when I try it again. Perhaps it only got the suggestion because I had actually a minute before typed "mockenhaupt", and the iPad had unhelpfully replaced it with two other words, so I had to start again.

But still, this is quite intelligent programming. "If he rejects the words our auto-complete gave him and starts typing again with the same letters, let's look at what he typed last time and give him that as a suggestion, even if the word is not in our word list/dictionary." Very smart.

No comments: