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Alibaba and Microsoft AI Systems Beat Humans in Reading Comprehension Test

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Artificial intelligence systems created by tech giants Alibaba and Microsoft topped the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD). In the reading comprehension test, the AI models beat the human score for Exact Match (or providing the exact answers to questions). The event is considered a major breakthrough in the field of artificial intelligence.

The test, developed at Stanford University, is a machine reading comprehension dataset with questions based on a set of Wikipedia articles. The answers were mostly a segment of text from a corresponding reading passage.

The human score registered on SQuAD is 82.304

Source: Pixabay

Alibaba’s AI system finished the same set of questions with a score of 82.44, while Microsoft’s AI scored 82.65. Luo Si, chief scientist for Natural Language Processing at Alibaba’s Institute of Data Sciences and Technologies, in a statement:

“It is our great honor to witness the milestone where machines surpass humans in reading comprehension. That means objective questions such as ‘what causes rain’ can now be answered with high accuracy by machines. We are especially excited because we believe 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.”

According to Microsoft, this type of AI system can help professionals quickly scan through pages and pages of text for information.

Source: Pixabay

In a blog post published by the tech giant, they said:

“These tools also could let doctors, lawyers, and other experts more quickly get through the drudgery of things like reading through large documents for specific medical findings or rarified legal precedent.”

Other companies, including Samsung, Salesforce, and Tencent, have also submitted their AI models for the SQuAD test.

Source: Pixabay

Stanford’s SQuAD is considered as one of the top reading comprehension tests in the world. AI continues to be an important technology being researched and developed by big companies.

It is supported by important figures, like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who believes AI can greatly impact the automotive and health industries. But other big names like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have warned of the risks and abuses that might result in developing and implementing AI systems.

What do you think of this breakthrough in AI technology? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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