To be more like us, Facebook’s AI is reading itself classic children’s books

Alice in Wonderland has always been more than a beloved children’s book: the story is a fantasy, a cautionary tale, and a mysterious tangle of allegories all in one. “Can we teach AI to read Alice in Wonderland?” Mark Zuckerberg wondered. Facebook this month announced that it’s using several data sets to train its artificial-intelligence (AI) deep-learning neural nets, which could be used in the future to act as virtual assistants, make predictions, and perform other human-like tasks. One of the data sets the company is using for its AI training is a collection of more than 100 classic children’s novels—including The Jungle Book, A Christmas Carol, Peter Pan, and Little Women—taken from the online library Project Gutenberg. (A complete list has been compiled by New Scientist here.) By giving…


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