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Samsung Wins Global Machine Reading Challenge

Machine reading algorithms increase in sophistication

By Umar Hassan

Samsung Research, the R&D arm of the South Korean electronics behemoth, has won two artificial intelligence (AI) machine reading comprehension competitions.

The company nabbed first place in Microsoft’s Machine Reading Comprehension Competition (MS MARCO), as well as in TriviaQA, hosted by the University of Washington.

Companies such as IBM, Facebook, Google and Amazon are spending billions in AI technology and algorithms, leading to fierce competition within the industry.

As a result, machine reading comprehension competitions such as MS MARCO are booming around the world.

Competing teams typically include university research departments as well as corporate participants.

Samsung Research Machine Reading ComprehensionWhat is Machine Reading Comprehension?

Machine reading comprehension involves an AI algorithm being tasked to analyse data and find the answer without human assistance.

Across the world, machine reading comprehension competitions are growing in popularity due to the competition between AI firms.

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MS Marco, TriviaQA, and SQuAD from Stanford University and Narrative QA are just a few actively researched and used machine learning comprehension competitions.

With MS Marco and TriviaQA, AI algorithms are tested rigorously in processing natural language in human Q&As.

The algorithms must be capable of writing written text for different types of documents from news articles to blogs.

For example in MS MARCO, ten web documents are presented for a certain query to let an AI algorithm create an optimum answer. Queries are randomly selected from a million queries from Bing (MS search engine) users. Answers are evaluated statistically by estimating how close they are with human answers. This is a test designed to apply an AI algorithm to solve real-world problems.

Samsung’s AI Algorithm

Samsung Research took part in the tests with its AI algorithm ConZNet, developed by Samsung’s AI Centre.

Jihie Kim, Head of Language Understanding Lab for Samsung Research highlighted talks were underway to implement the ConZNet algorithm in the company’s products.

Kim said: “We are developing an AI algorithm to provide answers to user queries in a simpler and more convenient manner, for real life purposes,

“Active discussion is underway in Samsung to adopt the ConZNet AI algorithm for products, services, customer response and technological development.”

In an earlier interview published by Samsung, she noted that ConZNet is an acronym for “Context Zoom-in Network.”

“The name implies that understanding the context of what people say is critical. We need to advance AI technologies to help them understand and analyze short sentences. AI algorithms also need to have capabilities to analyze real-time news reports rather than existing data to give answers to customer queries. We are also developing technologies where an AI algorithm can answer, ‘there are no proper answers to your query,’ as well as search for right answers. The so-called ‘rejection problem’ is an AI technology with a high level of technical difficulties.”

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