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NELL – The Self Taught Computer

smart computer

Somewhere in a cellar in the United States, a computer is learning how to write, talk, comprehend, and even insult presidents all by itself. More importantly, this computer can tweet.

NELL, which stands for Never-Ending Language Learning system, is a computer developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University that’s being taught how to learn. Just like us humans, it reads and comprehends the Internet to obtain knowledge and learn language. The computer basically absorbs everything and figures them out.

After being given some basic on language, she has been practically left alone to learn all by herself in a basement in Pittsburgh, PA.

This supercomputer is getting smarter every day. However, NELL can only score a “C,” having gained knowledge on over 440,000 things with 74% accuracy.

What’s more is that NELL can’t change the way it thinks or unlearn anything. If she thinks that a certain fact is true, that fact may turn into a belief.

One quite shocking thing, however, is that the computer has recently opened her own Twitter account. Her first tweet was: “Please follow me, and reply with corrections so I can improve!” Also, she has over 1,700 Twitter followers and has already stated an opinion about President Barack Obama, saying: “US President-elect Barack Obama” is a #politicianus.

Although NELL has sparked a lot of interest, she still commits lots of errors. Wikipedia is even more helpful than her. The learning system doesn’t exactly learn as we do since it’s still riddled with what’s true and what’s false. Still, NELL gives us a glimpse of the capabilities of the human mind when it comes to building machines and technology.