Predictive Text Encourages Predictable Writing

Arnold, K.1, Chauncey, K.2, and Gajos, K.3

IUI ’20: Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (March 2020)

Intelligent text entry systems, including the now-ubiquitous predictive keyboard, can make text entry more efficient, but little is known about how these systems affect the content that people write. To study how predictive text systems affect content, we compared image captions written with different kinds of predictive text suggestions. Our key findings were that captions written with suggestions were shorter and that they included fewer words that that the system did not predict. Suggestions also boosted text entry speed, but with diminishing benefit for faster typists. Our findings imply that text entry systems should be evaluated not just by speed and accuracy but also by their effect on the content written.

1 Calvin University
2 Charles River Analytics
3 Harvard University

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