Jump to content

Grammarly; not the grammarly!


Recommended Posts

I was writing an article on feminism the other day where one of the sentences was 'a woman is the absolute equal of a man'; however, grammarly tried her best to persuade me to change 'equal' to 'equality'.

On another instance, one of my sentences read 'she needs a letter written' to her friend, and grammarly  was 'shouting' in my ears to change 'a letter written' to 'a letter is written'...

 

 

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, rabihumakhan said:

On another instance, one of my sentences read 'she needs a letter written' to her friend, and grammarly  was 'shouting' in my ears to change 'a letter written' to 'a letter is written'..

It gets really funny sometimes - but I feel like it keeps writers on their toes at least! Wanna watch videos while editing - no can do, grammarly might mess with your flow (...or grammar!)
I've been thinking of switching to Prowritingaid for a while, but it feels a lot more... complicated. Pretty tight on time these days but I think I'll make the switch in the autumn. 

(I do desperately need grammarly though since I have a tendency to be blind even with my glasses on!)

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, katakatica said:

I do desperately need grammarly though since I have a tendency to be blind even with my glasses on!)

Hey I will admit I secretly stalked you (I mean have seen all your gigs) and loved them. Everything, from thumbnails to descriptions, and from FAQs to packages, are unique and creative. 

I'm sorry if you've 'turned promoted gigs on' and I just consumed a few bucks of yours. 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, rabihumakhan said:

I'm sorry if you've 'turned promoted gigs on' and I just consumed a few bucks of yours. 

Hehe, no worries 😄 (I don't think it does unless you click on the link directly but I could be wrong!) I like checking out people from here as well tbh!
And thank you so much! There's still stuff I'm trying to improve (have a more cohesive visual 'front' being one of them, but I love being able to do something a bit 'quirky'! 
(and there's...a lot more to come once I have a bit more time to actually launch the gigs!)

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These programs do mess up occasionally (or semi-frequently)! People recommend them a lot in fiction writing groups as an alternative to real editing, and it makes me cringe. In my opinion, they're useful for pointing out some things you might miss, but you absolutely need to know what you're doing to choose the right grammar in the end anyway.

  • Like 11
  • Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, melanielm said:

These programs do mess up occasionally (or semi-frequently)! People recommend them a lot in fiction writing groups as an alternative to real editing, and it makes me cringe. In

I prefer the 'online MS word's premium package. It gives some of the great advises for clarity, professionalism, word choice, and sentence type.  

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, rabihumakhan said:

I was writing an article on feminism the other day where one of the sentences was 'a woman is the absolute equal of a man'; however, grammarly tried her best to persuade me to change 'equal' to 'equality'.

On another instance, one of my sentences read 'she needs a letter written' to her friend, and grammarly  was 'shouting' in my ears to change 'a letter written' to 'a letter is written'...

 

 

Grammarly can only help if you're already proficient enough to know when it makes a mistake. I think it can be a great tool if you need help with variety or punctuation, but it's far from perfect. Without an intuitive understanding of a language, it has the potential to make it even worse. I often see gig descriptions written by sellers who barely speak any English. They have perfect grammar but sentences that make no sense. 

  • Like 7
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the grammarly site it gives a bit of info on how they claim their AI/grammar checker works. It says that if lots of people press ignore on a suggestion that they could adjust things (so in theory it should get better over time). But however they've done it (whether it's using proper deep learning or machine learning and/or other functions) they probably need to add a lot more data (examples of sentences or incorrect and correct ones) for it to work properly most of the time.

It also says that it needs a lot of computing power and for that reason it runs in the cloud and "All you need to check your writing with a Grammarly product is an Internet connection.". I think that's a bit false. It shouldn't really need the internet connection because of needing a lot of computing power. A desktop machine should be able to easily check the grammar. If they're actually training the AI models then that's what would need lots of computing power, not when someone's just using an AI model that's already trained (that should be able to be done on PCs. Maybe those with good GPUs might be better). They need the connection so they can send data like which suggestions are normally ignored/which aren't.

For things other than grammar/spelling I assume other software like the one suggested could be better.

1 hour ago, smashradio said:

Without an intuitive understanding of a language, it has the potential to make it even worse. I often see gig descriptions written by sellers who barely speak any English. They have perfect grammar but sentences that make no sense. 

I agree. There needs to be better software. Maybe software that knows more about what a text is for (though maybe there is software a bit like that or proper neural networks for grammar that are more accurate than grammarly).

Edited by uk1000
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, uk1000 said:

It also says that it needs a lot of computing power and for that reason it runs in the cloud and "All you need to check your writing with a Grammarly product is an Internet connection.". I think that's a bit false. It shouldn't really need the internet connection because of needing a lot of computing power. A desktop machine should be able to easily check the grammar. If they're actually training the AI models then that's what would need lots of computing power, not when someone's just using an AI model that's already trained (that should be able to be done on PCs. Maybe those with good GPUs might be better). They need the connection so they can send data like which suggestions are normally ignored/which aren't.

I assume the AI is constantly "training," using user feedback and input. Grammarly doesn't just check grammar but sentence structure as well. That probably takes more computing power. Most services like that run on the cloud these days. We must also remember that offloading stuff to the cloud frees up local resources.

Grammarly can't know if you're using their service on a 2-core low-spec PC with 8 gigs of ram or a core i9 with 64 gigs of ram monster PC. Running everything in the cloud makes sense. It allows Grammarly to adapt the service on demand and scale it to their needs. You also give them access to all your content, constantly feeding their AI with new input. That is how an AI learns, after all. 

I'm sure better, more professional services exist, but they probably aren't as user-friendly and easily accessible. 

  • Like 4
  • Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, smashradio said:

Grammarly can't know if you're using their service on a 2-core low-spec PC with 8 gigs of ram or a core i9 with 64 gigs of ram monster PC.

Since they have a "download grammarly for your desktop" option they must install software that runs on a PC and then connects to their servers. Since it (the desktop version) runs on people's PC they should be able to detect what sort of PC you have (processor, RAM, GPU).

25 minutes ago, smashradio said:

I assume the AI is constantly "training," using user feedback and input.

I assume they are regularly taking info like how often the suggestions are/aren't used and using that to offer better suggestions in future when similar text is checked (eg. use the suggestions that are used more). But it doesn't sound like they're _constantly_ (in one day or so) training a full neural network system that takes many thousands of words/millions of parameters into account. eg. the language models like GPT-3 took quite a long time (months or maybe more than a year) to train, though I think newer language models take less time I don't think they'd be training a neural network with possibly billions of parameters in a day or a few days.

Edited by uk1000
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, uk1000 said:

Since they have a "download grammarly for your desktop" option they must install software that runs on a PC and then connects to their servers. Since it (the desktop version) runs on people's PC they should be able to detect what sort of PC you have (processor, RAM, GPU).

Sure! But adapting the software to give everyone the same experience with their software while running on wildly different systems is something else. They can detect your specs, but how can they provide the same experience to that 2-core crapper of a computer I mentioned as they could for the i9 beast? For that reason, running everything in the cloud and merely giving us a shell (dependent on an Internet connection) makes much more sense from a development and user experience point of view. They only have to maintain a single version of the entire app across systems, specs, and operating systems rather than develop for multiple platforms. 

I'm curious. Is this merely an observation or a criticism? I'm curious as to why you would think using the cloud would be negative? 

17 hours ago, uk1000 said:

I assume they are regularly taking info like how often the suggestions are/aren't used and using that to offer better suggestions in future when similar text is checked (eg. use the suggestions that are used more). But it doesn't sound like they're _constantly_ (in one day or so) training a full neural network system that takes many thousands of words/millions of parameters into account. eg. the language models like GPT-3 took quite a long time (months or maybe more than a year) to train, though I think newer language models take less time I don't think they'd be training a neural network with possibly billions of parameters in a day or a few days.

Most AIs like this (the ones that "constantly improve") will likely grab everything they can get to feed the AI with as much data as possible. Perhaps they store the data for later (heck, I can go back a year or so and find my old content in Grammarly). So if they keep our content, I'd say the chances of them using it to train their AI is high. If that's a constant thing or not, I do not know. 

Edited by smashradio
  • Like 3
  • Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, smashradio said:

I'm curious. Is this merely an observation or a criticism? I'm curious as to why you would think using the cloud would be negative? 

It's a bit of a criticism because it seems not needed to send everything to the cloud. It's seems:

1) Not really needed

2) A bit of a privacy/data protection issue - like why should they have access to all the private documents belonging to people and use them for their own purposes, including training their systems with that info? Shouldn't they create their own or use already created documents/text to train it with (that they have the necessary rights to)?

3) It may make things slower if you have a reasonably fast machine

4) It means you can't work (check your document's grammar etc.) if your internet connection ever goes down. Word doesn't need a constant connection (though I don't have it on my current PC) but it seems a bad thing to always require it just to check your document.

1 hour ago, smashradio said:

Most AIs like this (the ones that "constantly improve") will likely grab everything they can get to feed the AI with as much data as possible. Perhaps they store the data for later (heck, I can go back a year or so and find my old content in Grammarly).

Though AI software from TopazLabs doesn't require user data and they don't train their systems on it (though they do have an option for anonymous data collection that you can turn on/off). They have software for upscaling or interpolating video, upscaling images, denoising, sharpening, masking (not very good though), and other image processing. All their software can run locally as far as I know, just requiring the AI models to have been downloaded once (for a particular version of the software). So if they can easily make AI software for video run locally (which can be huge file sizes and lots of processing) surely they could do the same with text processing/grammar checkers.

Edited by uk1000
  • Like 3
  • Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, uk1000 said:

It's a bit of a criticism because it seems not needed to send everything to the cloud. It's seems:

1) Not really needed

2) A bit of a privacy/data protection issue - like why should they have access to all the private documents belonging to people and use them for their own purposes, including training their systems with that info? Shouldn't they create their own or use already created documents/text to train it with (that they have the necessary rights to)?

3) It may make things slower if you have a reasonably fast machine

4) It means you can't work (check your document's grammar etc.) if your internet connection ever goes down. Word doesn't need a constant connection (though I don't have it on my current PC) but it seems a bad thing to always require it just to check your document.

All valid points, but since most SaaS run in the cloud these days, I expect that the pros outweigh the cons you mentioned. When it comes to privacy, I absolutely agree with you. This is why I don't use Grammarly for anything sensitive. They don't offer the security I require. But I wouldn't feel safe using Microsoft Word. Everything is uploaded to the cloud these days. If you need a second pair of eyes, the only way around the cloud is to hire a manual proofreader whom you trust not to use this type of service in the first place. 

If it makes things slower, I would get a better internet connection. I don't have any delay at all when using Grammarly. 

I'm sure it's possible. But it might not be very cost effective, given that they would have to develop the same application for multiple different environments.

I'm almost certain that Grammarly eats up our content for their AI, and they wouldn't be able to if it was offline. So from a business stand point, I understand why they do it.

I'm not software engineer or a developer, so I don't really have the right expertise to say for sure if it's necessary or not. 

  • Like 3
  • Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...