"Agony Aunt" To Give You Relationship Advice

Posted: Feb 2 2017, 7:46pm CST | by , Updated: Feb 3 2017, 12:08am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

"Agony Aunt" To Give You Relationship Advice
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A Japanese tech company has been able to train an AI to give love advice to people who need it. NTT Resonant, who operated the Goo web portal and search engine, has created a system called Oshi-el to answer questions about relationships, love, and other interpersonal relationships. The researchers chose to focus on these "non-factoids" because it was challenging for them.

“Most chatbots today are only able to give you very short answers, and mainly just for factual questions,” says Makoto Nakatsuji at NTT Resonant. “Questions about love, especially in Japan, can often be a page long and complicated. They include a lot of context like family or school, which makes it hard to generate long and satisfying answers.”

 Nakatsuji and his team used 190,000 questions and 770,000 answers from the Oshiete goo forum. They then came up with a generic structure for answers that includes sympathy, suggestions, and encouragement. 

The Oshi-el AI then forms a sentence to give advice. 

For now, the answers are a bit scripted but they still make sense, according to New Scientist.

"I can see this is a difficult time for you. I understand your feelings,” Oshi-el may say in response to a 30-year-old woman who finds herself stuck in a love triangle. “I think the younger one has some feelings for you. He opened up himself to you and it sounds like the situation is not bad. If he doesn’t want to have a relationship with you, he would turn down your approach. I support your happiness. Keep it going!”

The approach is still limited and it won't be able to give extremely personalized advice says Di Wang at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “We don’t even have a clear definition of ‘understanding’ [in the context of AI], so an AI can only grasp the very shallow surface of things,” says Wang. “But I think in this case people don’t care whether the advice is correct or not. You can say whatever as long as it sounds good.”

 Eventually, the hope is that they will be able to get more and more personal. 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.

 

 

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