Google Uses Romance Novels To Train Its Artificial Intelligence To Have Some Personality

The evolution and development of artificial intelligence is fascinating to follow and it raises a lot of questions for those of us not directly involved in programming or developing robots. What measures are robotics engineers using to ensure the robots won’t overpower and destroy us?  How are the robots learning to mimic and interact with human conversation? Apparently Google uses romance novels to train their AI how to be more human and I’m sorry, this is the best news I’ve heard all day.

In an attempt to humanize their robots and equip them with chatty personalities that will be more palatable to consumers, Google employees have been feeding their AI systems stacks of romance novels in order to expand their vocabulary and ability to hold conversation. While there are many jokes to make here about the possible conversations this chat-bot technology will initiate, I imagine even the most sexual possibilities won’t escalate as quickly as Microsoft’s Nazi-loving Taybot who learned to talk from Twitter trolls.

How many romance novels does it take to teach a robot how to love? The computer itself is known as a “neural network” and is a self-teaching system. As it’s starting from a foundation of zero knowledge it needs hundreds, even thousands of romance novels in order to pick up on conversational patterns. This means engineers have exposed it to upwards of 2,865 romance novels, quickly transforming this computer system from a naive social baby into a sultry sex god.

via GIPHY

Will these chat-bots exclusively talk like pick-up artists? Also, is Google creating the first wave of robot erotica authors by feeding the neural network bodice-rippers and Harlequin pulp?!

According to Andrew Dai, the Google software engineer leading the project, it is technically possible that the robot could absorb the data thoroughly enough to pen a novel. Hell, it could even seduce a lonely user, much like the Spike Jonze film Her.

via GIPHY

When asked about the possibility of engineering a love-bot, Dai said:

“There’s an ancient Greek story about a guy who builds a statue of the most beautiful woman. The statue is more beautiful than any other woman, and he falls in love with the statue. If you can fall in love with a statue, I don’t see why you couldn’t fall in love with a neural network trained on romance novels.”

It’s fascinating to consider the juicy plots robots will be experiencing as their first exposure to language. The deep fear it strikes in my soul is also undeniable – not that I’ll fall in love with a robot, but that a robot will land a book deal before me.