SwiftKey's Neural Alpha keyboard uses its own brain to build better predictions

The newest Android keyboard taps into neural network technology, which tries to work similarly to a human brain.

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SwiftKey wants to inject even better predictions into your smartphone’s keyboard.

The company just launched the SwiftKey Neural Alpha for everyone to test out. The new keyboard comes with a pledge that it will create superbly accurate predictions and more quickly learn your word usage habits.

The big idea behind the new keyboard is that it uses a type of machine learning called a neural network. In essence, the software tries to learn patterns and analyze language data similar to how a human brain works. SwiftKey says it will be noticeable in a number of everyday scenarios in comparison to its current keyboard, which uses a model called n-gram.

Here’s one of several samples SwiftKey offers. You can check out more on the SwiftKey blog.

swiftkey neural compare2 SwiftKey

SwiftKey says its new neural network learning model will give you smarter word suggestions.

If you want to try the keyboard on your own device, you can grab Neural Alpha now from the Play Store. Since it’s an early release, expect it to have a number of bugs and other wonkiness. 

Why this matters: Since SwiftKey licenses its language software to other companies, the company wants to do more than just sell themes. SwiftKey needs to continue to improve its understanding of how language works. The good news is that even though typing on glass can be a pain sometimes, your keyboard may soon start to sound a lot like you without that much effort on your part.

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