Google AI researchers find strange new reason to play Jeopardy!

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When IBM’s Watson computer beat two world champions at the game show Jeopardy! in 2011, it was a moment to marvel at how a machine could take comprehend the language of a question and could mine its vast memory for an appropriate response.

Google scientists have found another use for Jeopardy! questions, having little to do with understanding human speech and more about how computers communicate with one another.

And this week, they’ve made that work an open-source software tool available on GitHub to anyone using Google’s TensorFlow framework for machine learning.

“Active Question Answering,” or Active QA, as the TensorFlow package is called, will reformulate a given English-language question into multiple different re-wordings, and find

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