Chatbots and digital assistants are very trendy these days and more companies use a chatbot or a digital assistant in their daily communication with clients or co-workers.
But honestly, when you use Siri or Alexa, was it a satisfying conversation? Was it really a conversation?
Google claims it has now build a new chatbot which can talk to you about anything, just like a human.
What is Meena?
Meena is an end-to-end, neural conversational model that learns to respond sensibly to a given conversational context. A neural network models itself after the human brain by creating an artificial neural network that via an algorithm allows the computer to learn by incorporating new data. It’s a form of machine learning. Here it’s conversational, because the computer gets the data by having a ‘conversation’ with the user.
Simply said, Meena has learned to respond correctly when needed in a given situation.
How is Meena, the chatbot, built?
Meena is a conversational neural network with 2.6 billion parameters.
Google’s development team trained Meena with 40 billion words, that’s 341 GB of textual data.
How did they do that? By using the Seq2seq model.
A variation of Google’s Transformer, which is a neural network that compares words in a paragraph to each other to understand the relationship between them.
Meena is build of a single evolved transformer encoder block and 13 evolved transformer decoder blocks. Encoder blocks help Meena to understand the context of the conversation, decoders help Meena to form a correct response.
A little history of Google and chatbots
Meena is not Google’s first experiment with chatbots.
In 2015, Google released a paper on a model that helped with tech support. The company also developed a lot of language models to better understand the context of a conversation.
So you see, Google’s R&D was quite busy with chatbots in the last 5 years
Google’s competition regarding chatbots
How is Google’s competition dealing with chatbots?
Amazon had its Alexa Prize challenge in 2019 where it challenged teams with building a bot that can sustain a conversation for at least 20 minutes.
Another tech giant, Microsoft, acquired in 2018 conversational AI startup Semantic Machines to improve Cortana.
Is Meena the chatbot open source?
Awesome news, Google’s new chatbot Meena.
I want to code with it too, is it open source?
Unfortunately not. But maybe in the future.
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