Google’s new artificial intelligence can’t understand these sentences. Can you?

Last week, Google released Parsey McParseface, a funny name for a state-of-the-art tool aimed at one of the most difficult problems in artificial intelligence. For all that computers have accomplished in the past five years, from winning on “Jeopardy!” to defeating a Go grandmaster, they are still terrible at figuring out what people are saying. Language is one of the most complex tasks that humans perform. That’s why there has been such a hullaballo over McParseface, which is pretty much a glorified sentence diagrammer. McParseface does what most students learn to do in elementary school. It takes a sentence and breaks it down, identifying  nouns, verbs and so forth — and how all of these parts relate to one another. It can tell you, for instance, what the root verb of a sentence is; what…


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