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Why the Google App is Reading Thousands of Romance Novels

By   /  May 9, 2016  /  No Comments

romanby Angela Guess

Lindsey J. Smith reports in The Verge, “For the past few months, Google has been feeding 2,865 romance novels into an artificial intelligence engine to help loosen it up — linguistically at least, BuzzFeed reports. The goal is to make the Google app — known for its stiff, factual style — more conversational. ‘It would be much more satisfying to ask Google questions if it really understood the nuances of what you were asking for, and could reply in a more natural and familiar way,’ Andrew Dai, the Google engineer running the project, wrote in an email to The Verge. ‘It’s like how you’d rather ask a friend about what do to in a vacation spot instead of calling their visitor center…’”

Smith goes on, “Jason Freidenfelds, a senior communications manager at Google, told The Verge that currently the Google app only has the capability to learn and understand basic questions. If you ask it, ‘When was the Eiffel Tower built?’ it can tell you. And if you follow that with, ‘Who built it?’ the bot will understand that ‘it’ means ‘the Eiffel Tower.’ However, it lacks the ability to have more natural conversations. Dai noted in his email that ‘we’re getting good at understanding sentiment and understanding whether a person likes something by how they describe it,’ but that bots aren’t able to understand more subtle things, like sarcasm.”

Read more here.

Photo credit: Flickr/ roberthuffstutter

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