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Google's 'Semantic Experiences' let you play word games with its AI

Google's 'Semantic Experiences' let you play word games with its AI
From TechCrunch - April 13, 2018

Googledoes a great deal of research into natural language processing and synthesis, but not every project has to be a new Assistant feature or voice improvement. The company has a little fun now and then, when the master AI permits it, and today it has posted a few web experiments that let you engage with its word-association systems in a playful way.

First is an interesting way of searching through Google Books, that fabulous database so rarely mentioned these days. Instead of just searching for text or title verbatim, you can ask questions, like Why was Napoleon exiled? or What is the nature of consciousness?

It returns passages from books that, based on their language only, are closely associated with your question. And while the results are hit and miss, they are nice and flexible. Sentences answering my questions appeared even though they were not directly adjacent to key words or particularly specific about doing so.

I found, however, its not a very intuitive way to interact with a body of knowledge, at least for me. When I ask a question, I generally want to receive an answer, not a competing variety of quotes that may or may not bear on your inquiry. So while I cant really picture using this regularly, its an interesting way to demonstrate the flexibility of the semantic engine at work here. And it may very well expose you to some new authors, though the 100,000 books included in the database are something of a mixed bag.

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