Elon Musk’s OpenAI Is Reading Reddit Threads to Learn English

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OpenAI, a research nonprofit funded by tech leaders like Elon Musk and Sam Altman, is reading Reddit threads to teach itself language. In other words, it now knows our darkest secrets.

Reddit, the website known for enlightening conversations on topics such as human flesh, will assist OpenAI’s artificial intelligence in understanding the written word. For some perspective, the last time A.I. was handed over to an open platform that anyone could participate in, the internet managed to make Microsoft’s Tay Twitter chatbot extremely racist in less than a day.

OpenAI will use the DGX-1 deep-learning system by computer and graphic chip company Nvidia. The DGX-1 can do a set of computations 25 times faster than a conventional computer, MIT Technology Review reports. Eventually, OpenAI wants to use deep learning for AI to learn from humans, and experience with Reddit will make that easier down the line.

Reddit threads are filled with more natural language than, say, a bunch of New York Times stories. Therefore, the A.I. will be learning somewhat natural language. You know, the natural Reddit language that everyone uses like “cake day,” “circlejerk,” and “whoooosh.”

DGX-1 will be able to read and learn from conversation after conversation faster than ever, making it the ultimate content consumer in its quest to understand humans. If you’ve ever used Siri, you know how much A.I. can struggle with understanding speech. And if you have an Amazon Echo, you know how useful an understanding A.I. can be. And if you’ve ever used Reddit, you know that OpenAI’s experiment will lead to an A.I. system that understands a very specific type of people.

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