Deep learning alone will never outperform natural language understanding

Google, Microsoft, IBM, Apple, and 885 other players in the A.I. market have all been spinning their wheels in the wrong direction. Using brute force in machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) with advanced statistics, bots such as Siri, Echo, Viv, Hound, Skype and others fall off a cliff the moment they receive a command that is not an exact match for the engine. This is because NLP can only approximate meaning. Counting words and tracking word order, or even parsing by syntax, results in probability — guesswork, at best. For all the progress that has been made in A.I., there is one hard problem that has remained fundamentally unsolved: natural language understanding (NLU). According to John Giannandrea, a Google senior vice president, “understanding language is the holy grail…


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