ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: IBM'S WATSON NOW UNDERSTANDS IDIOMS AFTER 'SENTIMENT' UPDATE

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: IBM’S WATSON NOW UNDERSTANDS IDIOMS AFTER ‘SENTIMENT’ UPDATE

Artificial intelligence researchers at IBM have introduced a major upgrade to the famed Watson computer, allowing it to understand idioms and colloquialisms for the first time.

IBM says the update makes it the first commercial AI system capable of identifying, understanding and analysing some of the most challenging aspects of the English language.

Phrases like “hardly helpful” and “hot under the collar” are tricky for algorithms to spot, meaning AI is unable to debate complex topics or have nuanced conversations with humans.

IBM said it is adding several of the technologies it honed with Project Debater to its Watson-branded digital assistant, which businesses use much like consumer digital assistants such as Alexa or Siri. The new skills will automate either customer service tasks or internal business processes, and improve its Watston-branded document discovery tool, which extracts and sorts information from documents.

These new capabilities include a more advanced system for categorizing the sentiments expressed in text and finding particular clauses in documents, a tool that can summarize information, and another that can group information into more precise clusters.

According to IBM, the Project Debater technologies will be added to Watson throughout 2020. The categories include:

  • Advanced Sentiment Analysis to understand complicated word schemes like idioms. The technology will also be better equipped to analyze phrases of words and possibly sarcasm. IBM’s new NLP technology will be added to Watson Natural Language Understanding this month.
  • Summarization and briefs. The Project Debater technology will pull textual data from multiple sources and analyze things like articles, blogs and bios to create briefs and insights. The ability to summarize will be added to Watson Natural Language Understanding later in 2020.
  • Advanced topic clustering to group incoming data and create topics of related info to be analyzed. Watson Discovery, aimed at industries like insurance, healthcare and manufacturing, will get the technology later in 2020.
  • Classification of business documents will also be added into Watson Discovery later in 2020 to identify clauses in contracts and documents.
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