God Help Us, These Researchers Are Using Reddit to Teach a Supercomputer to Talk

By Katy Waldman Can machines use Reddit to get smarter? We’re pretty sure humans can’t. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch OpenAI, the nonprofit backed by Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, wants to teach technology to talk. It has enlisted the help of a supercomputer named DGX-1 to help train its machine learning systems. (What are machine learning systems? MIT Technology Review describes them alluringly as a “network of crudely simulated neurons” that use data to glean “a probabilistic understanding of conversation.”) DGX-1 can feed prodigious amounts of natural language to OpenAI’s robotic reticulation, which then takes the input as a model for its own “speech.” All the student teacher pair needs in its quest for cocktail chatter mastery is source material. Source material—that sounds easy enough! Did the…


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