Facebook Releases Its Humanlike Chatbot, Blender

Story originally published here.

Back in February, we talked about Google’s big breakthrough in conversational artificial intelligence (AI). The company had just launched a new chatbot called “Meena” that could hold conversations with humans.

At the time, I said that Google’s breakthrough would lead to rapid improvements in this area. It turns out that this may have been an understatement…

Not to be outdone, Facebook just released its new AI chatbot called “Blender.” It trained Blender on 1.5 billion Reddit conversations to make it as humanlike as it could.

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For readers who don’t know, Reddit is a free online message board where users can talk about any topic they want. Facebook chose Reddit because the discussions are conversational.

That gave the AI a great base of understanding. Then it fine-tuned the AI to understand things like emotion and empathy.

And the results are stunning… and much better than Meena.

In blind testing, 75% of evaluators said they found Blender more engaging than Meena. 60% found Blender to be more humanlike. Have a look at the realistic conversation here.