Deep Learning: System Learns Language by Playing Games

MIT researchers have designed a computer system that learns how to play a text-based computer game with no prior assumptions about how language works. Although the system can’t complete the game as a whole, its ability to complete sections of it suggests that, in some sense, it discovers the meanings of words during its training. In 2011, professor of computer science and engineering Regina Barzilay and her students reported a system that learned to play a computer game called Civilization by analyzing the game manual. But in the new work, on which Barzilay is again a co-author, the machine-learning system has no direct access to the underlying “state” of the game program — the data the program is tracking and how it’s being modified. “When you play these games, every…


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