Why is my iPhone SE now doing the “predictive text” thing?

I know how to turn predictive text on/off. However, I didn’t mess with the settings… it just started offering it in all my text messages about 7pm. When i go to settings it is now on, but I didn’t turn it on. Strangely enough, it also happened to a friend that was with me at the asian restaurant tonight. What’s up? Are the aliens controlling my phone now?

BTW, I don’t even use autocorrect. Sometimes I want to deliberately misspeel words.

Did your phone update recently? After operating system updates I’ve noticed some settings changed.

No, no updates. I sometimes put it in my pocket w/o locking the screen, but I don’t think that would do it. The PT feature is many clicks away from anything I’d (routinely) have open. But that’s the only plausible explanation.