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DARPA Wants AI to Learn Language like Human Babies

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) last week announced plans to invest in the Grounded Artificial Intelligence Language Acquisition (GAILA) research program that aims to teach artificial intelligence (AI) to learn language in a similar way as human babies do, to make sure that AI will actually grasp the significance of different words and sentence structures, rather than merely be able to generate coherent sentences based on massive example databases.

According to DARPA, “[c]hildren learn to decipher which aspects of an observed scenario relate to the different words in the message from a tiny fraction of the examples that [machine-learning] systems require.” The research agency believes that current research aiming to teach language to AI is flawed “due to exclusive reliance on the statistical aspects of language, with no regard for its meaning.”

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