Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft and Alibaba AI programs can now read better than humans

EPA-EFE/JEFF LEE

Alibaba and Microsoft developed artificial intelligence which scored better on a reading comprehension test than humans, CNNMoney reported. The test was designed by AI experts from Stanford University, created with the purpose to measure reading abilities of machines.

“This is the first time that a machine has outperformed humans on such a test,” Alibaba said in a release.

Alibaba’s Chief Scientist of Natural Language Processing Luo Si said that the company’s AI score is “a great honor” but emphasized the possibilities of humans losing their jobs to robots. Si went on to say that the technology can be applied in the areas of customer service, museum tutorials and, for example, online responses to medical inquiries from patients. Alibaba already tested out the technology, using it to answer a huge number of customer questions during one of the biggest shopping days – Singles Day.

Alibaba’s AI scored 82.44 on the test, while Microsoft’s program had a result of 82.65. Human participants averaged a 82.304 score.

A spokesman for Microsoft Andrew Pickup stated: “These kinds of tests are certainly useful benchmarks for how far along [on] the AI journey we may be. […] However, the real benefit of AI is when it is used in harmony with humans.”

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