The brand logo of Alphabet Inc's Google is seen outside its office in Beijing, China August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
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Alphabet Inc.'s Google in May introduced a slick feature for Gmail that automatically completes sentences for users as they type.Google's technology will not suggest gender-based pronouns because the risk is too high that its "Smart Compose" technology might predict someone's sex or gender identity incorrectly and offend users, product leaders revealed to Reuters in interviews.Demonstrating that Google understands the nuances of AI better than competitors is part of the company's strategy to build affinity for its brand and attract customers to its AI-powered cloud computing tools, advertising services and hardware.Gmail has 1.5 billion users, and Lambert said Smart Compose assists on 11 percent of messages worldwide sent from Gmail.com, where the feature first launched.Smart Compose is an example of what AI developers call natural language generation. The gendered pronoun ban affects fewer than 1 percent of cases where Smart Compose would propose something, Lambert said.Google uses tests developed by its AI ethics team to uncover new biases.AI experts have called on the companies to display a disclaimer and multiple possible translations.
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