Speaker: Fraser Shein, President and CEO at Quillsoft Ltd.
Title: iWordQ: Pragmatics of word prediction to assist struggling and emerging readers and writers
Dr. Shein will present and discuss the word prediction technology used within Quillsoft's iWordQ iPad App that was designed to support struggling and emerging readers and writers. A particular focus will be on the pragmatic aspects that must be considered in delivering a commercial product to meet real-life needs. The current prediction model is based on bigram/unigram statistics derived from a billion-word blog corpus supported by up to 5-ngrams where prediction following function words is highly ambiguous. While relatively simple in concept, practical aspects such as memory management, look-up speed, and accuracy of spelling are very real determiners of usefulness. We also created Canadian, British, and American spelling dictionaries and removed noise and inappropriate words for final use by children. While seemingly simple, this has been the most significant effort. Improvements to the algorithm still remain related to handling poor spelling, punctuation, and contractions among other issues. Suggestions for future research will be discussed.