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Finally, a Machine That Can Finish Your Sentence


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New systems are starting to crack the code of natural language.

A team of Google researchers has unveiled a system that can complete English sentences, even though it was not designed to do so.

Credit: Nicolas Ortega

Google researchers have unveiled an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can complete English sentences with human-like accuracy, even though it was not designed for that purpose.

The Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (Bert) demonstrated that computers can be taught generalized vagaries of language and apply that knowledge to various tasks, with implications for enhancing digital assistants and automatic document analysis.

Bert analyzed both Wikipedia and thousands of self-published books, and learned to guess missing words anywhere in a sentence, as well as how language is assembled.

New York University's Sam Bowman said such technology is "a step toward a lot of still-faraway goals in AI, like technologies that can summarize and synthesize big, messy collections of information to help people make important decisions."

From The New York Times
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