Word prediction technology: What it is and how it works

By Jamie Martin

Expert reviewed by Shelley Haven

Updated May 22, 2023

Word Prediction Technology: What it is and how it works, two women in a conference room working on a laptop

At a glance

  • Word prediction is an assistive technology tool that suggests words as people type.

  • Anyone with writing challenges can benefit from this technology.

  • You may have used word prediction on a smartphone, but more advanced tools also exist.

Word prediction is an assistive technology tool for writing that suggests words based on letters typed. If you’ve sent text messages with a smartphone, you’ve probably used it already.

There are other advanced word prediction options, too. These tools can be very helpful for anyone who struggles with spelling, word choice, and typing speed.

Using word prediction requires writing with a keyboard. This can be an onscreen keyboard on a smartphone or digital tablet. Or it can be a physical keyboard connected to a device or computer.

Word prediction can be a big help for many people who learn and think differently. Keep in mind, though, that it’s only one tool. Many people may still need other help, like a scribe to write down what they say. Physical tools may also be helpful for handwriting. And people may need another assistive technology, like graphic organizers.

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