I read this article on BuzzFeed about Google and its developing artificial intelligence engine. For the past few months, Google has been feeding text from romance novels to its artificial intelligence engine in order to help create more personality and conversational skills. The result is that the AI engine has been able to write out sentences like those in the books and the hope is that in the future, it can be used on other Google products.
But why is Google using romance novels, instead of for example, books that teach you to read? Romance novels are better because essentially most romance novels use the same plot, just with different words. The AI engine is able to identify which sentences are alike and have the same meaning, but may use different words and phrases. By reading thousands of books, the AI engine has been able to create conversational sentences, instead of just purely factual ones with perfect grammar, which can improve and personalize Google’s products.
I think this article is fascinating. Romance novels get such a bad rap. People who read them are made fun of, authors who write them are looked down upon, even the novels themselves are dismissed and frequently referred to as “bodice rippers” or “mommy porn”. However, according to the Romance Writers of America, the romance novel industry is worth over $1 billion dollars a year. Romance novels regularly top the major best sellers lists and romance novels are read by over 29 million people.
People may make fun of romance novels, but clearly Google thinks they are useful.