A new keyboard developed for the Brazilian arm of Condé Nast aims to fight bias and prejudice, by "correcting" prejudiced words and replacing them with more appropriate synonyms.
Agency Leo Burnett Tailor Made developed the keyboard for Android phones for Globo Condé Nast, owner of the magazines Vogue, Glamor, GQ and Vogue Living. The initiative, led by the Globo Condé Nast Diversity Committee, is part of the publisher's efforts to have a more relevant role in promoting diversity.
The keyboard works by suggesting alternative words when a word deeemed prejudiced or perjorative is typed: for example, it would change "Gyp”, which is perjorative to Romany people, to “cheat”. Downloadable via the Google Play store, it has versions in Portuguese, English and Spanish with specific vocabularies for those languages. The project has been under development for over a year by the production company Savoir, with linguist Tomas Finbow, Doctor of the Department of Linguistics at USP, providing advice.
The project is being promoted via a film, seen here, running on the digital channels of Vogue, GQ, Glamour and Vogue Living.
The project is reminiscent of a couple of other tools designed to correct unconscious bias, such as nonprofit Catalyst’s Slack plug-in that it created for International Women’s Day last year, and the Polite Type, a digital tool from TBWA/Helsinki that used typography to recognize and rewrite hate speech.