SwiftKey is known for it main keyboard that’s available on Android and iOS, but lately the company has been branching out with new “Greenhouse” projects that aim to do things a bit differently than its main keyboard. The latest effort of the that Greenhouse is SwiftKey Neural Alpha.
With SwiftKey Neural Alpha, SwiftKey aims to offer a keyboard that “makes smarter and more meaningful word suggestions in the context of your sentences.” The app is based on the use of neural networks, an artificial intelligence inspired by the human brain. SwiftKey’s standard keyboard uses “n-gram” technology to provide predictions base on common phrases and what it learns from you, but the neural network helps the keyboard to learn context to offer better predictions, including using words that it hasn’t seen in the context of a sentence before.
These types of neural networks are typically found in large servers, but SwiftKey is using it on a smartphone keyboard. Because this neural processing takes a bit more computational power than the standard SwiftKey keyboard, the company says that its SwiftKey Neural Alpha is “intended for more powerful smartphones” and that its performance may not be “optimal” on every single device.
While SwiftKey’s standard keyboard can be quite good, especially after you spend some time using it and it understands the way that you talk, the SwiftKey Neural Alpha could end up being better. It all comes down to its ability to understand context, which means that it could end up offering more appropriate words than the standard SwiftKey offering. Of course, right now SwiftKey Neural Alpha is still in early days, but so far the project sounds pretty interesting.
SwiftKey Neural Alpha requires Android 4.4 or higher. To try it for yourself, hit up the Google Play link below.