Alibaba's natural language processing (NLP) neural network scored better than average humans in a Stanford University reading and comprehension test. This is the first known instance of NLP performing better than humans and perhaps a harbinger for higher quality search, voice recognition, translation, and chatbots in the future.
Alibaba said it’s the first time a machine has out-done a real person in such a contest. Microsoft achieved a similar feat, scoring 82.650 on the same test, but those results were finalized a day after Alibaba’s, the company said. The Chinese e-commerce titan has joined the likes of Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. in a race to develop AI that can enrich social media feeds, target ads and services or even aid in autonomous driving. Beijing has endorsed the technology in a national-level plan that calls for the country to become the industry leader 2030.