Some people are reporting that when they type “sit on” while texting on their Android phones, the devices suggest “my face and” may be the next thing they want to type. The phrase prediction comes from the operating system’s auto-complete feature, which recommends words or phrases based on what you type. While there are over 1,000 words banned from Android’s prediction algorithm, including “coitus” and “intercourse,” the phrase “sit on my face” — which refers to a sexual act — is not suppressed.
After reaching Google for comment, a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that a fix to remove the phrase is coming: “We’ve started rolling out a fix for this prediction behavior in Gboard so that users will no longer see this suggestion.”
The spokesperson added, “Gboard is designed to avoid such predictions in its generic models, but human language is complex, and as with any sort of system that filters sensitive phrases, sometimes inappropriate suggestions make it through into the machine learning models. When we learn of an inappropriate suggestion we work quickly to remove it.”
In a BuzzFeed News test, after typing “Hey, are you free to sit on,” two Google Pixel devices suggested “my face and,” while a Samsung Galaxy S9 phone did not. However, if “sit” is typed (rather than “sit on”), auto-complete does not suggest “my face and.”
After “my face and,” Android autocomplete suggested the following words: “then… we… can… talk… about… it… later…”
Meanwhile, iOS devices do not to suggest “my face” after typing “sit on.”
Google said that its keyboard, called Gboard, uses both a general language model for everyone, and a personalized algorithm that learns from its users’ typing history.
Android users can remove specific suggested words by tapping the word and dragging it to the trash icon. In Keyboard settings, (at the top of the keyboard, tap >, then “more” (…), then the settings gear icon, then Text Correction) users can also turn off the suggestion strip, block offensive words, and opt out of personalized suggestions.
The idea behind Google’s keyboard suggestions and swipe input features is to speed up typing on mobile devices, which is 35% slower than it is on a physical keyboard.
Originally published at Buzzfeed