Thanks to the advances in the field of natural-language processing (NLP), computers can now create sentences enough to convince a human that another human has written that sentence, all this with a push of a button. But does this mean that artificial intelligence can now understand the human language? A new paper from the Allen Institute of Artificial Intelligence says it doesn’t. In fact, they don’t really understand what they’re writing or reading.
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This is a fundamental challenge in the grand pursuit of generalizable AI—but beyond academia, it’s relevant for consumers, too. Chatbots and voice assistants built on state-of-the-art natural-language models, for example, have become the interface for many financial institutions, health-care providers, and government agencies. Without a genuine understanding of language, these systems are more prone to fail, slowing access to important services.
Find out how they arrived at that conclusion over at Technology Review.
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