Facebook sets a new task for AI: guide a virtual tourist around New York

See the original posting on The Verge

How do you teach computers to understand language — not just transcribe human speech, but actually comprehend what someone is saying? It’s one of the grand challenges of AI, and we still don’t really know the best way to tackle the problem. Facebook’s AI research lab, FAIR, has one idea: teach AIs to understand language by getting them to guide virtual tourists around New York City.

FAIR is releasing what it calls Talk the Walk, a dataset designed to be used by other researchers. It’s comprised of three elements: small maps of New York City neighborhoods (each a couple of blocks wide), 360-degree photos of the same locations, and sample dialogues of humans guiding one another around these neighborhoods. Basically, it’s everything you…

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