Gideon Lewis-Kraus on Autocorrect

I started in the general vicinity of the letter d and then just let loose, trying to tap at random across the characters. The first time I tapped out dcisnence and drew existence. The random string dzyjzynxe produced distance. The third time I went a little longer and beset my keyboard with descinnztsb. This instantly transformed itself into deacon stab. And there it was, a little potted history of humanity: first birth, then exile, and before you know it somebody's gone and shanked a priest.

The entirety of the technology we hold in our hands is more than the sum of its parts. Our phones are made of metal and plastic and silicon, true- but they're also made of stories. Or, at least, the technologies that comprise our pocket computers are themselves comprised of stories.

Autocorrect is one such technology. It's become the butt of many jokes, but it's also one of the most useful pieces of the smartphone puzzle. And it all started in the early 90s, with a Microsoft Word developer.

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