AI machine learns to write political speeches

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 26, 2016, 5:10 pm CDT
AI machine learns to write political speeches

Machines are one step closer to taking over the world — a researcher has created an artificial intelligence machine capable of writing political speeches, doing so with the same flavor of ordinary and usually stereotypical political spiels. Segments from thousands of real political speeches were used to teach the algorithm how to generate its own.

The work was done by University of Massachusetts, Amherst researcher Valentin Kassarnig, who used snippets from nearly 4,000 political speeches given during Congressional floor debates to train the AI. These snippets totaled an average of 23 words, and comprised more than 50,000 sentences.

The AI was also informed of whether the snippets came from Democrat or Republican speeches and if the speeches were positive or negative toward its topic.

The AI analyzes the text based on word sequences and determines the probability of certain words or phrases appearing based on the words preceding it. The speeches are ultimately written starting with one set of words and following with more using predictions based on the analyzed text.

By doing this, Kassarnig can instruct the AI to write speeches for a specific political party. How does it handle the task? Check out this brief generated political spiel below:

Mr. Speaker, for years, honest but unfortunate consumers have had the ability to plead their case to come under bankruptcy protection and have their reasonable and valid debts discharged. The way the system is supposed to work, the bankruptcy court evaluates various factors including income, assets and debt to determine what debts can be paid and how consumers can get back on their feet. Stand up for growth and opportunity. Pass this legislation.

SOURCE: MIT Technology Review
Image via Jason Cross

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