Alibaba’s AI Outscores Humans in Reading and Comprehension Test

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A natural-language processing AI developed by Alibaba has outscored humans on a reading and comprehension test that was originally developed by Stanford University. The deep neural network model was tested last week, being asked over 100,000 questions during an exam that is considered the most authoritative machine-reading gauge in the world.

The AI, which was created by Alibaba’s Institute of Data Science Technologies, edged out its human rivals, achieving a score of 82.44. Human participants in the exam have attained a score of 82.304.

Alibaba’s AI, according to a report by Bloomberg, is said to be the first machine to outdo a person on the quiz. While Microsoft also had a system that outscored humans, achieving a score of 82.650, the results of that exam weren’t finalized until a day after Alibaba reached the milestone.

Natural language processing AIs are designed to process words and phrases as a human would, mimicking the comprehension of a person.

Stanford University’s exam is based on information from over 500 Wikipedia articles, with the subsequent queries being designed to determine whether the AI can process substantial quantities of information and product precise answers to the questions.

“That means objective questions such as ‘what causes rain’ can now be answered with high accuracy by machines,” said Luo Si, the Alibaba Institute’s chief scientists for natural language processing, in a statement.

“The technology underneath can be gradually applied to numerous applications such as customer service, museum tutorials and online responses to medical inquiries from patients, decreasing the need for human input in an unprecedented way.”

Natural language processing has been considered a potential major step forward in AI technology as it would give the machines the ability to communicate with people in a way that more closely mimics human conversations, allowing them to draw conclusions from vast quantities of information and make adjustments to responses based on the context of the statements.

Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, is not the only company working to develop an AI that can do anything from bringing additional value to social media feeds, target ads, provide customer support, and assist with technologies associated with autonomous driving.

Beijing has expressed significant interest in AI, endorsing a national-level plan to become an industry leader by 2030.