Artificial intelligence, designed to get machines to do intelligent things, is not new – it’s been around for nearly 70 years. Siri, Alexa and that robot vacuum that sweeps your floors are all examples of AI. Like humans, these machines are undergoing an evolution and the next level for them is to able to understand stories.
Dr. Mark Finlayson, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering & Computing’s, School of Computing & Information Sciences is focusing on developing technologies that will allow AI to understand narratives so they can become contextually aware and reason intelligently about the world. Computers in the near future will be able to achieve tasks such as educating doctors and assessing the artistic quality of a novel.
The work also has applications in getting machines to think ethically. “Ethics is often not about a set of hard rules, but rather about reasoning from stories. People think: should I help this person? What would a Good Samaritan do in this situation? That’s reasoning by reference to a story.”