Going into 2018, I decided not so much to set major resolutions off the bat, but rather set mini goals along the way. One of those mini goals started in November, when I challenged myself to watch 100 new (to me) movies in 365 days.
A few days ago, I hit number 35 which was the award-winning Joaquin Phoenix film, “Her.” Without giving too much away, the plot is set in the near future where a man develops a relationship with a life-like operating system (OS).
During one of their first conversations, the OS states that she read an entire book in under a second. While watching it, I couldn’t help but think that we’re not too far away from that.
Turns out my thought wasn’t far off, as artificial intelligence (AI) developed by Alibaba and Microsoft have out read humans on a Stanford University reading comprehension test.
“This is the first time that a machine has outperformed humans on such a test,” Alibaba said in a statement.
Experts in the field of artificial intelligence at Stanford developed this test to measure and assess the growing reading abilities of computers. The test creates comprehension questions based off of a selection of Wikipedia articles.
Alibaba scored an 82.44, beating humans by a hair as they scored 82.304. The next day, Microsoft’s AI software also beat humans with the score of 82.650.
While this is a monumental feat for technology, it will pose a problem for humans as more jobs will be at risk. This is a continued issue for humans as robots are designed and trained for their jobs (i.e. Amazon).
The technology has already been put to work for the Singles Days shopping extravaganza, as a large numbers of computers were used for customer service queries. It’s suggested that the technology can be used for other customer service outlets, as well as having the ability to give museum tours.
Brands such as Facebook, Tencent, and Samsung have submitted AI models for the Stanford test in the past. “These kinds of tests are certainly useful benchmarks for how far along the AI journey we may be,” said Andrew Pickup, a spokesman for Microsoft. “However, the real benefit of AI is when it is used in harmony with humans,” he added.
AI continues to grow and shows no sign of stopping, and some humans are concerned what this will mean for the future – some fear being replaced, others laud the ability to innovate our world. What do you think?