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Google Meena may be the most chatty chatbot so far


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Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant may be clever, but we’re not sure whether we’d class any of them as entertaining conversationalists. But Google has a new chatbot, called Meena, which may point to a future where these entities can sustain a conversation for much longer without making you (metaphorically) look frantically over their shoulder for someone more interesting to talk to.

Meena is “a 2.6 billion parameter end-to-end trained neural conversational model” who can “conduct conversations that are more sensible and specific than existing state-of-the-art chatbots”. Meena has been trained on 341GB of text filtered from public social-media conversations (filtered, one would hope, so she doesn’t spout Nazi rhetoric; embark on 23-part tweetstorms; or ever, EVER use the phrase ‘Let this sink in’.

Google’s blog post focuses on the technical aspects of Meena’s progress so far, but it’s a useful glimpse at the work going in to the tech that in the future, may well be powering conversational agents powering all manner of services. Including music streaming, perhaps…

Stuart Dredge

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