Elon Musk is Using Reddit to Train AI to be More Human


One of the biggest issues with AI bots at the moment is, that, as much as they can be trained to talk, react and respond, they still don't do a particularly convincing job of it. This is something that many researchers are working hard to improve, and social media often plays a role. Past example include using Twitter to help computers grasp and recongnise sarcasm.

This time around, it's a more general approach, an attempt to teach AI how to communicate in a more human way, and, wouldn't you know it, Reddit is the answer. OpenAI is a non-profit backed by Elon Musk (yaaaay) and Peter Thiel (boooo). It provided the crucible for the birth of the NVIDIA DGX-1 supercomputer, which boasts a frankly insane 170 teraflops of computing power.

Using this muscular machine, OpenAI have been able to accelerate the deep learning process, and hope to make major advancements in AI in a fraction of the time that it takes others. That's why they've hooked it up to Reddit and asked it to devour as much content as it can, analyse it, and learn more about how human interaction really works.

Why Reddit? Well, in among all the vulgarity and back-chatter, there's an archive of cultural discussion, evidence of trends and colloquial terms. Such random, erratic human interaction provides an ideal proving ground for AI, so long as the nastier, more abusive side of it is avoided. We all remember how Microsoft's ill-fated Tay Twitter experiment ended. In this case now, there's no straw man user profile to interact with, so there's no risk of anyone deliberately setting out to corrupt the system, just encountering the people who are awful all the time.

If they succeed in angling around all that, this might end up being one of the most significant developments in deep learning in recent memory. While nobody this side of Eldon Tyrell is clamoring for a robot which can perfectly replicate human interaction, understanding the nuances of it could be create AI processes which can be given commands as if you were having a casual conversation with another person, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

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