Facebook releases an open-source, ‘human-like’ chatbot called Blender

For years, AI researchers have been working on building an artificial intelligence system that can converse as well as humans. Facebook has now introduced a lifelike chatbot, named Blender that outperforms other bots in terms of engagement, and also feels more human-like in its conversations.

Blender is an open-source resource for AI research. The social media giant claims that blender is the largest-ever open-domain chatbot.

The chatbot has the ability to blend several conversational skills in natural, “14-turn conversation flows”. Basically, it can discuss nearly any topic, show empathy, and assume a persona.

Image: Pixabay

Facebook says it has trained the bot on 9.4 billion parameters, which is nearly four times as many as Google’s Meena, and over ten times as many as the previous largest OS chatbot.

Chatbots can, as of now, respond to specific commands and actions like getting updates on the weather or checking on restaurant reservations. They are not capable of having an in-depth conversation with a human.

With the advent of Facebook’s Blender, users can expect more talkative chatbots.

“One of the recent findings in the area of NLP, and AI in general, has been that as you scale, as these neural network models get larger and larger, they tend to perform better,” Engadget reported Stephen Roller, a research engineer at Facebook’s AI lab (FAIR) as saying.

The social media giant has worked on the chatbot’s ability to display personality, knowledge and empathy to make its response more human-like.

“We, in the past two years of research, have designed tasks for each one of these skills,” the tech website further quoted Emily Dinan, a research engineer at FAIR, as saying.

Back in 2018, FAIR had tested a new approach that taught chatbots how to talk like humans. The test was a significant move forward, in an earlier test, Facebook had to shut down one of its AI systems in 2017 after chatbots started speaking in their own language, which they created without human input.


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