My following article below was originally published on SERIOUS WONDER:
If you ever feel like Google’s hitting on you as you have a conversation with it, don’t worry, the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) is reading a bunch of romance novels. And the reason why? Because Google believes that, by reading from romance novels, its AI engine will be able to develop better conversational skills with us humans.
Interesting enough, it’s actually working. According to Google’s software engineer when he spoke to BuzzFeed News:
“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.”
– Andrew Dai
Google Software Engineer Leading Project
The AI engine was fed 2,865 romance novels to improve its understanding of language. By reading thousands of romance novels, the company believes it will help enhance the technology with some personality and conversational skills.
As a result, Google’s research team were able to teach the AI to write its own sentences which closely resembled those read in the books. When BuzzFeed News asked Dai if the engine could write its own romance novel if it wanted, his response was, “Theoretically, it could.”
The company’s next step is to use these newly developed conversational skills to help inform and humanize their products. This would also include the Google app as more people begin using it.
“Hey Google, say something sexy to me.” Soon enough, Google, and every other company currently working on its own AI, will know exactly what you’re asking for and deliver as asked. They’ll have the ability to woo you and make you feel loved. It might sound lonely and strange, but an increasing number of people – especially in areas like Japan – are abandoning physical romance altogether and are instead building relationships with that of virtual characters and apps. Eventually, as the conversational skills and level of intelligence increase, the idea of “true love” between a human and AI won’t be all that far-fetched.
When BuzzFeed News asked of this possibility, Andrew Dai said:
“It could happen eventually. There’s an ancient Greek story about a guy who builds a statue of the most beautiful woman. The statue is more beautiful than any other woman, and he falls in love with the statue. If you can fall in love with a statue, I don’t see why you couldn’t fall in love with a neural network trained on romance novels.”
– Andrew Dai