Google’s artificial intelligence engine has been reading hundreds of romance novels as part of an effort to make it chattier and smarter.
According to a report by The Verge, the Google AI has consumed 2,865 novels, including the likes of Fatal Desire, Unconditional Love, and Jacked Up.
The researchers believe that reading novels enhances the AI’s conversational skills – something which it had been lacking. A Google spokesperson said that romance novels are particularly useful in helping the AI pick up on colloquial language.
The AI can now write sentences which resemble those found in the stories it read, but the main focus is to make it more conversational and provide a better user experience.
“In the Google app, the responses are very factual,” Google software engineer Andrew Dai told BuzzFeed News. “Hopefully with this work, and future work, it can be more conversational, or can have a more varied tone, or style, or register.”
“It would be much more satisfying to ask Google questions if it really understood the nuances of what you were asking for, and could reply in a more natural and familiar way,” Dai told The Verge in an email.
“It’s like how you’d rather ask a friend about what to do in a vacation spot instead of calling their visitor center.”
Dai added, “we’re getting good at understanding sentiment and understanding whether a person likes something by how they describe it,” however, the AI engine is still unable to pick up on sarcasm and other subtle things.