Druide Celebrates 25 Years of Antidote
To mark the 25th anniversary of its famous writing assistance software, Druide informatique highlights the milestones in Antidote’s history and continues to invest in the future.
A quarter of a century of technological evolution
The first Antidote for French was released in 1996 on Windows and Mac. It progressed quickly, from correcting one sentence at a time to multiphrase correction, and then prisms and their smart filters. Not only has its technology taken giant leaps, it has also allowed the evolution of tools like Anti-Oops! for email, Antidote Mobile for Apple phones and tablets, and Antidote Web for Chromebook, Android and browsers. It even extended its scientific prowess to English in 2015, integrating the two languages simply and elegantly. And for a year now, it has been offered on all these platforms at the same time with Antidote+ packages.
Ever richer works
The Antidote dictionaries have also grown considerably over the years. Druide has never ceased to enrich their lexicon, going from 94,000 to 121,000 words in English, following the evolution of the language and of society. The exploration of the links between these words gave birth to innovative dictionaries, offering combinations, synonyms, history and many other resources, even creating new links between English and French. Increasingly intelligent search engines, such as multi-word search and search by criteria, have made it easier to handle these treasure troves of data.
Deep learning at the service of Antidote
With all these resources harmoniously integrated into a cohesive whole, appreciated by millions of users all over the world, Antidote already deserves the title of most complete writing assistance software suite available for English and French. And Druide continues to go further, inaugurating, with Antidote 11, a neural correction engine created by the magic of deep learning.
Developed thanks to the Druide Fund for Research in Text Analysis, in partnership with researcher Yoshua Bengio and his team, this fundamental technology will play an important role in Antidote’s progress. “In addition to what the corrector already does, one can imagine, one day, more efficient punctuation, more advanced reformulation proposals, even real reorganizations of sentences and ideas. In short, corrections even closer to human intelligence”, explains Éric Brunelle, president of Druide and principal designer of Antidote.
A new chair at UQAM
In the philanthropic vein of the Druide Fund, Antidote will mark its 25 years with a major literacy initiative. With a donation of one million dollars to the Université du Québec à Montréal, Druide will soon create a research chair for increasing literacy. This chair will be accompanied by an Antidote scholarship of $25,000 awarded each year to a student in remedial education at UQAM. “We are convinced that the excellent work of the chair will help educational communities throughout the Francophonie to counter the difficulties of learning to read and write.”, concludes André d’Orsonnens, Chairman of the Board and CEO at Druide.
The 25th anniversary of Antidote was celebrated in a virtual event, the video of which can be viewed at www.antidote.info/25years.
Druide informatique produces and markets Antidote, the most comprehensive writing assistance software suite available for English and French, as well as Typing Pal, the renowned typing tutorial application. The company is also the creator of WebElixir, a quality assurance service for websites, while its subsidiary, Éditions Druide, specializes in the publication of French-language literature and reference works.