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I think you're dead on. And I'm nervous about a coming winter, because of disappointment in all the wolf-crying we're doing about how good at Natural Language we're getting. When we've barely scratched the surface. This latest bot fad worries me.

A further comment on deep methods being state of the art currently:

I wonder how well these tasks really measure progress in natural language understanding (I really don't like isolating that term as some distinct subdiscipline of broader AI goals, but so be it). Some of Chris Manning's students[1] have at least started down the path of examining some of these new-traditional tasks in language, and found that perhaps they are not so hard as they claim to be.


[1] A Thorough Examination of the CNN/Daily Mail Reading Comprehension Task. Chen, Bolton & Manning [https://arxiv.org/abs/1606.02858]

Chatbots aren't about nlp, IMHO, they are about easing non-technical people into a top level cli for everything. IMHO, they ultimately have as much in common with search as with a natural language interaction.

IME as a chatbot developer, people don't talk to them in conversational english so much as spit out what they want it to do.

I don't think there will be a winter. There are enough successes in computer vision.

Yeah, absolutely, and those successes are not going anywhere. But as solutions to those problems become more and more rote, funding will still be needed for the bigger problem, which continues to fail to deliver on its promises.

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