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Google's AI is Learning Conversation from Romance Novels

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When it comes to Artificial Intelligence or AI it's important that you can actually talk to the AI. Straight commands can be confusing and if you need a lot of information, then you need to be able to understand what they're saying. Facebook tried to help it's AI learn about language through children's books in much the same way that a child would. Google on the other hand have gone down another route and have been teaching their AI how to converse using romance novels.

Google picked romance novels for a reason and whether you enjoy them or not, you may have to accept that they have some merit in this case. Romance novels tend to follow the same plot line over and over the language tends to be a little more colourful than other novels. Because of this the AI would have been able to pick up on how language works as well as some sense of personality. Google fed their AI around 2,865 novels just so they could understand the different nuances of language. Personally I'm not sure if I'd want an AI to talk to me in the way anyone in a romance novel does because it's either ridiculous or sometimes borderline offensive, but it's not offensive in the same way that Tay was on Twitter. However Google have had some success with this method as the AI can now write out sentences similar to passages in those books.

The next step for Google will be to take this language improvement to their Google app and Smart Reply feature. Their Smart Reply feature looks at blocks of text within emails and then suggests a reply. Most suggested replies or message templates tend to be quite bland or just straight to the point. With this AI the suggested responses can be more conversational, which is more practical for the 10% of users who use smart replies. It could be some time before Google actually brings this into effect because it takes a lot of time and effort for the AI to actually learn the language this way.

Theoretically, Google's AI could pen their own romance novel, but that doesn't seem likely unless Facebook decide to get their AI to pen a children's novel first. It would be kind of pointless for Google to waste time doing so and they're likely to wait some time before showing the public what their AI can do.

This news is important in the world of AI however and it'll be interesting to see what both Google and Facebook will do next.


Rosina is a Songbird writer with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is glad to be playing around with apps and writing about them in the mean time! Follow her @Songbird_Rosina


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Google's AI is Learning Conversation from Romance Novels Reviewed by Rosina Brooker on Monday, May 09, 2016 Rating: 5

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