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Google's neural network is binge reading romance novels

Engadget Engadget 5/05/2016 Mariella Moon
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The Big G wants its app to be more conversational, so it's feeding a neural network with steamy sex scenes and hot encounters. According to Buzzfeed News, the network has been devouring a collection of 2,865 romance novels over the past few months, with saucy titles like Fatal Desire and Jacked Up. It seems to be working too: it was able to write sentences resembling passages in the books during the researchers' tests. While the AI now has what it takes to become an erotic novelist, the team's real goal is to use its newly acquired conversational tone with the Google app.

Project leader Andrew Dai told Buzzfeed:

"In the Google app, the responses are very factual. Hopefully with this work, and future work, it can be more conversational, or can have a more varied tone, or style, or register."

Dai said the team chose erotic romance novels to teach the app how to speak, because they're all typically the same story. They contain similar sentences written in different ways, which can help the network build its vocabulary and better understand how the language works. Besides the Google app, the team can also use the neural network to write conversational responses for Inbox's Smart Reply feature.


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