Salesforce announces results of testing its AI text summation software
May 12, 2017 by Bob Yirka
(Tech Xplore)—Customer relationship management company Salesforce has announced the testing results for a new AI software product it is developing that is capable of summarizing text and offering the results to users. The announcement came courtesy of the company website, where the group claims its software outperformed competing systems.
Imagine if you were rich enough to hire a group of people who did nothing but read your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts and who also read all the email messages you get from friends, family, and perhaps most importantly, colleagues. Further imagine that all those readers condensed what they had read to just a few sentences and then presented the results to you so that you would not have to do all that browsing and reading yourself. Some people have such a service—the President of the United States, for example, though others cannot afford such a luxury. But what if you had access to a software solution that did the same thing? That is what Salesforce and its competitors are trying to achieve—the development of AI software that is capable of learning to extract the meaning from text and condense it for you. They report that in a recent test, their new system scored three points higher on the ROUGE test than their nearest competitor. While this may not sound like much, other experts in the field have suggested it marks another step forward in the achievement of the final goal.
The Salesforce site claims that studies have shown that on average, people spend 12 hours a day sifting through media, which means that an AI solution could save people an enormous amount of time—better yet, it could make people more productive. Imagine if a lawyer could get the gist of multiple cases before going to trial in just a few minutes, or if a salesperson could learn everything they needed to know about a client just minutes before a meeting.
Unfortunately, such scenarios are still unrealized because despite improvements to such systems, computer software is still unable to deliver condensed text that even approaches the accuracy of human beings. And there is also the problem of getting people to use it once it is created—if software condenses your news, for example, and Salseforce controls the software, is it possible that they could influence the news you receive in ways they view as favorable to them, or for their other clients?
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