The word ‘ Ducking hell ‘ to disappear from Apple autocorrect . Apple has said it will no longer automatically change one of the most common swear words to ‘ducking’. The autocorrect feature, which has long frustrated users, will soon be able to use AI to detect when you really mean to use that expletive.
“In those moments where you just want to type a ducking word, well, the keyboard will learn it, too,” said software boss Craig Federighi.
He announced the development at Apple’s developers’ conference in California. iPhone users have often complained about how autocorrect forces them to rewrite their own messages – with the term “damn you autocorrect” becoming an acronym, a meme, an Instagram account and even a song.
The changes to the function will happen thanks to the use of a transformer model, which learns context by tracking relationships in data, like the words in this sentence, using mathematical techniques.
Initially flagged in a 2017 paper from Google, transformers are some of the most powerful classes of AI models, and autosuggest – or predictive text – systems are beginning to become more mainstream.
The ‘ Ducking hell ‘ autocorrect change will be part of the iOS 17 operating system upgrades which are expected to be available as a public beta in July, with the general release in September. It should mean that iPadOS 17 also carries the new function.
Elsewhere at the developers’ conference, Apple unveiled an augmented reality headset, Apple Vision Pro which will retail at $3,499 (£2,849).
Apple chief executive Tim Cook said the new headset “seamlessly blends the real world and the virtual world”. It will be available early next year in the US and in other countries later in 2024.
On Monday, Apple’s market valuation reached just under $3 trillion – a new company record.