NELL Computer Learns To Surf The Web For Facts

NELL is a Never-Ending Language Learner, a computer system created at Carnegie Mellon University. The intent is to design a machine learning system that is able to extract structured information from the wild and untamed (i.e., unstructured) World Wide Web.

NELL surfs the web even more than you do - 24 hours per day, every day, learning to read better each day. It tries to extract new instances of categories and relations. "In other words, [it tries to] find noun phrases that represent new examples of the input categories (e.g., "Barack Obama" is a person and politician), and find pairs of noun phrases that correspond to instances of the input relations (e.g., the pair "Jason Giambi" and "Yankees" is an instance of the playsOnTeam relation). These new instances are added to the growing knowledge base of structured beliefs."

The following table is taken from NELL's hundreds of thousands of facts about the Internet, in this case, music varieties. The number at the far left is NELL's confidence in the assessment; as you can see, NELL is 100% certain that these musical categories exist.


(NELL knowledgebase on music facts)

NELL has been in continuous operation since January 2010. For the first 6 months it was allowed to run without human supervision, learning to extract instances of a few hundred categories and relations, resulting in a knowledge base containing approximately a third of a million extracted instances of these categories and relations. At that point, it had improved substantially its ability to read three quarters of these categories and relations (with precision in the range 90% to 99%), but it had become inaccurate in extracting instances of the remaining fourth of the ontology (many had precisions in the range 25% to 60%).

The estimated precision of the beliefs it had added to its knowledge base at that point was 71%. We are still trying to understand what causes it to become increasingly competent at reading some types of information, but less accurate over time for others. Beginning in June, 2010, we began periodic review sessions every few weeks in which we would spend about 5 minutes scanning each category and relation. During this 5 minutes, we determined whether NELL was learning to read it fairly correctly, and in case not, we labeled the most blatant errors in the knowledge base. NELL now uses this human feedback in its ongoing training process, along with its own self-labeled examples. In July, a spot test showed the average precision of the knowledge base was approximately 87% over all categories and relations. We continue to add new categories and relations to the ontology over time, as NELL continues learning to populate its growing knowledge base.

NELL certainly has a wider knowledge of music than I have, based on the noun phrases shown above.

Science fiction has a number of examples of computer systems that try to learn more about human beings through analyzing data available on computer systems. One example that comes to mind is Mike from Robert Heinlein's 1966 novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress:

When Mike was installed in Luna, he was pure thinkum, a flexible logic - "High-Optional, Logical, Multi-evaluating Supervisor, Mark IV, Mod. L" - a HOLMES FOUR. He computed ballistics for pilotless freighters and controlled their catapult. This kept him busy less than one percent of time and Luna Authority never believed in idle hands. They kept hooking hardware into him - decision-action boxes to let him boss other computers, bank on bank of additional memories, more banks of associational neural nets, another tubful of twelve-digit random numbers, a greatly augmented temporary memory.

Read more at CMU's Read the Web project; also, read the published paper on NELL Toward an Architecture for Never-Ending Language Learning.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/5/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Artificial Intelligence ")

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...' - William Tenn, 1951.

Can We Comprehend Deep Learning Systems?
'Youíve nothing remotely like it, so I canít describe it to you.' - Lewis Padgett, 1943.

Datagrid Model Generation Perfect For Eternal Cities Of Science Fiction
'... there was enough flexibility to allow for wide variation. - Arthur C. Clarke, 1956.

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...' - Kendall Foster Crossen, 1953.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'

Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'

Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.'

Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.'

Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.