Spell checking is something taken for granted in modern word processing. However, we lose this liberty when it comes to hand-written text, and can only rely on the help of others (or a tedious dictionary search). We wanted to create something that can help users correct hand-written text automatically.
Teachers taxed with the laborious and often repetitive task of marking error-ridden work can now focus their time on the more academically important aspects. Writers of official and important documents can save themselves the back-and-forth hassle associated with an incorrect spelling. Friends and family writing personal letters can avoid the embarrassment of revealing how much attention they really paid in English lessons at school.
What is it?
Chext is a spell checker app that allows you to scan any text using your smartphone's camera, identifying and correcting any potential spelling mistakes in a matter of seconds. Avoid the embarrassment of getting your achieves mixed with your achieves!
How did we build it?
We chose Flutter as a framework as it can be deployed on multiple platforms without changing the codebase. This enables easy maintenance and updates to the existing code, so that users across all platforms benefit from the latest features.
Initially we attempted to create an AI model from scratch but our team had limited knowledge on this topic so we browsed the web for a preexisting model. Luckily we found an API that was of high quality but it meant we had to compromise on the visibility of code due to its proprietary nature.
Not only have we never coded using the Flutter framework, but the programming language Dart is also completely new to us. We believe that with the limited time available, we have been able to both develop and implement these new skills significantly. In addition, the majority of our team were not familiar with APIs before this event but we are now able to fully utilize APIs.
Given that none of our team members had ever met prior to the event, we believe that we were successful in forming an efficient and coordinated group. We were able to work efficiently, whilst having a great time and enjoying each others company and support.
The next immediate step is to be able to use natural language processing to correct grammar as well as spelling. Generalization to other languages is also a potential advancement.
The future large-scale aim of Chext is to be able to imitate the handwriting-style of a given text and generate a version that is void of spelling errors. This technology is still in its infancy (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2016/aug/new-computer-programme-replicates-handwriting), but this allows us to be its first pioneers. There would be numerous applications for this technology: personalization of messages accompanying gifts/flowers, text in films, games or comics that can be written in an actor's/character's handwriting, disguising sensitive materials such as credit cards when sent through the post to avoid interception.