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What is going on with auto prediction programs?
Thread poster: LilianNekipelov
LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
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Russian to English
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Aug 28, 2016

I was just wondering, especially over the last month or two, what was going on with the auto prediction programs since they have been becoming more and more unpredictable—meaning you never know what they are going to predict: the predicted text not even vaguely resembling what someone wrote or intended to write—something which almost obliterates all writing or typing, or any sensible writing to be more precise. Most articles are being erased, just replaced with a space, tenses ignored. All forms of "to be ' predicted as "are". What's going on.? When will it improve, or at least get to what it used to be—not perfect but bearable. It is not just on Proz, in general, affecting most programs, wherever you type on the internet, or use any browsers. It turns e-mails into something ridiculous, if you do not check what you wrote five times at least. The other day, I wrote, I mean it wrote it, I will be in a palace, instead of in a place. Fortunately, I caught it on time. I was writing to a very serious person. On another occasion, it changed Judy into Juicy. What's going on? Any end of that on the horizon? For God's sake, the people working on English word predicting programs should know English at a university level, in the least.

I have heard that it had something to do with the methods they use to program items in word auto prediction—those based on frequency of occurrence. Could that be it? It even erases the parts of text it does not seem to like. Like, not PC, let's say.

[Edited at 2016-08-28 09:07 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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Dutch to English
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Perhaps you need a proofreader? Aug 28, 2016

LilianNekipelov wrote:

I was just wondering, especially over the last month or two, what was going on with the auto prediction programs [which ones?] since they have been becoming more an[d] more unpredictable—meaning you never know what they are going to predict, the predicted of words, or something like that which almost obliviates writing or typing, or sensible wring to be more precise. Most articles are being erase, just replaced with a space, tenses ignored. All forms of are predicted as are. What's going on.[?] When will it improve, or at least get to what it used to be—not perfect but bearable. It is not just on Proz, in general, in most programs where you type on the internet, or brasiers. It turns e-mails into something ridiculous, if you do not check you wrote it five times at least. The other day I wrote, I mean it wrote it, I will be in a palace, instead of a place. Fortunately, I caught it on time. I was writing to a very serious person. On another occasion, it changed Judy into Juicy. What[;]'s join on? Any end of that on the horizon?


Or should I say, "Perhaps you need a brasier"?

Michael

[Edited at 2016-08-28 08:35 GMT]


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
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Yes, exactly. This is what it does to text. Aug 28, 2016

Brassier instead of a browser. You have a sample. This is even after editing the text, once. You may do without you gutter type comments. I don't need an editor—certainly not one with your level of rudeness.

[Edited at 2016-08-28 08:44 GMT]


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
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Turn it off Aug 28, 2016

If you really use mobile devices a lot for this stuff, then try using a "swipe keyboard" instead. It should give you the speed you need and lower the chance of errors (once you get used to it).

At any rate, with all the marvelous "adaptive(s)" I've seen thrown around lately, I'm sure in a year or two messages will be writing themselves, just like translations, so we'll be able to concentrate solely on preparing and sending invoices.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
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I can't understand why people use them Aug 28, 2016

It's the first thing I turn off. Maybe because I enter text frequently in three different languages - but then I imagine most translators do that. I prefer to look at the 'keyboard' and type what I want to type rather than going back and editing a software program's wrong assumptions.

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
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I do not use any mobile devices, Aug 28, 2016

and it cannot be turned of—no longer. If you try turning it off, although I am not even sure if such an option still exits, the whole word processing stops working completely—freezes, sort of.

All my comments such be treated as constructive remarks, not merely complaints, for the programmers to do something about this ridiculousness of typing on the internet.

It cannot be turned off, Sheila, Ok? Thank you for the suggestion, though. I don't type in many languages—exclusively in English.

Where do you turn off yours? Even if it could be turned off, there is no reason for such ridiculous and useless programs to exist.

[Edited at 2016-08-28 09:23 GMT]


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
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Not sure I understand what you're referring to, then... Aug 28, 2016

LilianNekipelov wrote:

and it cannot be turned of—no longer. If you try turning it off, although I am not even sure if such an option still exits, the whole word processing stops working completely—freezes, sort of.


I thought you were referring to mobile devices because that's where auto-prediction (and auto-correction) is basically a default setting (as a typing aid), but frankly, I never encountered it on desktop programs, such as Word, Chrome, Firefox, the various CAT tools I've been using, etc...


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
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Very odd behaviour Aug 28, 2016

LilianNekipelov wrote:

and it cannot be turned of—no longer. If you try turning it off, although I am not even sure if such an option still exits, the whole word processing stops working completely—freezes, sort of.

... for them to do something about this ridiculousness of typing on the internet.


Lilian, what you are saying doesn't really make sense — there is no one predictive text program, there is no 'the'y who are going to listen and put it right.

Just WHERE are you trying to type things that are being auto-completed in this way?

You must realize that the predictive text doesn't come from one single place — it is specific to the word-processor or whatever program you are using.

I honestly cannot conceive of ANY current word processor that will not allow you to turn it off, or will freeze or stop working if you attempt to!

Ditto Internet browsers — mine offer the option to indicate words of doubtful spelling (which looks like it might be a useful feature for you) but NEVER auto complete.

I think you need to look carefully at the specific programs you are using, and learn about their features so you can one by one turn them off.

And don't forget, the situation is only going to get WORSE, not better, as predictive text programs 'learn' more words, and so will be able to offer you more wrong choices! Only major improvements to their algorithms MIGHT offer some hope for the future... but I somehow doubt it.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
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There is absolutely auto prediction in such browsers as Safari. Aug 28, 2016

Yes, believe me or not the programs predict most words as you start typing them, usually predicting every second one wrongly. I sometimes don't read the text while I type, looking at something else., and then I only check it after I complete at least the whole paragraph. I am a very proficient typist, trained in the times when there were no computers yet, and you had to white-out all wrongly typed words, or sentences. Maybe two words whited out in every ten pages, on average. I remember it very well.

I can assure you, I did not type brasserie, or growers instead of browsers. It would not have occurred to me, even, to type such words.

Sources of the problems or places where encountered: Today on Proz, really bad, but only on the fora. I typed something in the News section, Translation News, and it was more or less Ok. Really horrible here today. It has gotten better since. I usually did not encounter any serious typing problems on Proz.

Some other internet sites.

E-mails—AOL mostly. I like them, but typing e-mails has become a challenge.

[Edited at 2016-08-28 10:05 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
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Some simple solutions Aug 28, 2016

Are, now you explain it is when using Safari, that is quite different from, say, a conventional word-processor!

If you try a simple Google search on the string ""turn off predictive text in Safari" you will find a number of suggested solutions that ought to help you.

Rest assured, you CAN turn it off!

And it really IS important to always re-read what you have typed (with or without 'help' from autocorrect!) before hitting the 'send' button.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
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Thank you. I absolutely reread everything I typed, but it takes me ten minutes Aug 28, 2016

to correct something I typed in five. I think there is no reason for such bad programs to exist, and if someone wants to impose the predictions on people, well they have to get better not worse. They don't have to be perfect, but not that a poster or anybody typing should correct every second word.

I have not seen the "turn off" option in the newest Safari, and when I tried turning them off on another computer about half a year ago the whole program crashed. The computer is still out of use.


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Andrea Garfield-Barkworth  Identity Verified
Germany
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Have you tried googling how to turn it off? Aug 28, 2016

Bit of an obvious question really as I am sure you have, only I found a number of sites telling you how to turn autopredict in Safari off. Seems to be an Apple issue because I use Windows and have never experienced autopredict on it.

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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
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Illogical Aug 28, 2016

LilianNekipelov wrote:

"...when I tried turning them off on another computer about half a year ago the whole program crashed. The computer is still out of use.


That simply doesn't make sense, Lilian!

If trying the turn off option 6 months ago carshed the browser, then all you need to do is re-install that browser; there is no earthly reason why a simple browser crash should render the entire computer unusable!

These are just bolt-on programs, and as we know, machine translation is usually worse than useless, autocomplete text is the same; no point bleating about it or calling for improvements (there is little economic incentive for much money to be invested in development on these features) — just find out how to turn it off on any application you use where you find it a nuisance.


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Andrea Garfield-Barkworth  Identity Verified
Germany
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Looks like we replied at the same time. Aug 28, 2016

Agree with Tony, it must be exceedingly annoying though.

[Edited at 2016-08-28 10:36 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
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English to Afrikaans
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Not auto-prediction, but auto-correction Aug 28, 2016

LilianNekipelov wrote:
On another occasion, it changed Judy into Juicy.


I suggest you find out how to disable this "auto-prediction" feature in whatever program you're using, and perhaps try to find out if there are other auto-prediction apps available for it. The way you describe it makes me think that you're actually using an auto-correction app. The more primitive auto-correction apps assume that the user always accepts all suggestions unless the user specifically cancels the suggestion. I prefer to use an app that makes suggestions in such a way that I can't accidentally accept one. In other words, the space or ENTER key should never be the key that is used to "accept" the suggestion.


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