AI is learning abstract concepts via Pictionary

Feb 08, 2019, 7:19 AM EST
(Source: Carolyn Coles/flickr)
(Source: Carolyn Coles/flickr)

For those of us who may have chuckled at the puerile game of Pictionary, let’s bridle our emotions. The researchers at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence are using this subtle drawing game to teach an AI program abstract concepts.

The researchers have adapted the game into a new version they call Iconary, which pairs an AI program, named AllenAI, with a human partner, with each of them free to choose to either draw an image or guess the picture the other draws from the phrases, notes Independent.

Researchers describe this attempt as the first step towards developing common sense reasoning in AI, which have thus far proved the technology’s Achilles heel, limiting the use of chatbots and voice assistants to specific tasks only.

AllenAI has observed 100,000 games between human players and this experience is gained and retained with the help of neural networks software. The expert opinion on the relevance of this AI program’s importance is divided, with some appreciating the algorithm’s ability to generalize things while skeptics pointing out the “limited form of commonsense knowledge,” reports Science.