Robots Now Can Read Better Than Humans, Millions of Job Could Be Lost
I have known people in my life that bragged that they don’t read much. “Reading is for nerds” they would tell me. This is genuinely the opinion of someone that will occupy a cardboard home under a bridge. It gets scarier, my friends. Artificial intelligence is learning how to read better than the best of us, even that hobo. An AI algorithm has done better in a reading comprehension test. This could put millions of customer service people out of a job.
The Chinese retail company, Alibaba, kicked the butt of humans in the Stanford Question Answering Dataset — a global reading test consisting of more than 100,000 questions. 100,000 questions? I couldn’t get a friend of mine to answer 50 questions. This is a whole other problem.
“That means objective questions such as ‘What causes rain’ can now be answered with high accuracy by machines,” Luo Si, chief scientist for natural language processing at the Institute of Data Science of Technologies, said. “The technology underneath can be gradually applied to numerous applications, such as customer service, museum tutorials and online responses to medical inquiries from patients, decreasing the need for human input in an unprecedented way,” Si said.
The researchers have used various books to teach the AI human ethics. One team from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology feeding stories to an algorithm in 2016 to try and expand the AI’s knowledge to lean human behavior.
“The collected stories of different cultures teach children how to behave in socially acceptable ways with examples of proper and improper behavior in fables, novels and other literature,” said Mark Riedl, one of the researchers involved in the study. “We believe that AI has to be encultured to adopt the values of a particular society, and in doing so, it will strive to avoid unacceptable behavior,” Riedl elaborated. “Giving robots the ability to read and understand our stories may be the most expedient means in the absence of a human user manual.”
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.