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Teaching Machines to Understand - And Summarize - Text

June 23, 2017 by Karuna Pande Joshi, Tim Fini

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We humans are swamped with text. It's not just news and other timely information: Regular people are drowning in legal documents. The problem is so bad we mostly ignore it. Every time a person uses a store's loyalty rewards card or connects to an online service, his or her activities are governed by the equivalent of hundreds of pages of legalese. Most people pay no attention to these massive documents, often labeled "terms of service," "user agreement," or "privacy policy." As computer science researchers, we are working on ways artificial intelligence algorithms could digest these massive texts and extract their meaning, presenting it in terms regular people can understand.