Google’s Artificial-Intelligence Tool Is Offered for Free

GoogleMeet Parsey McParseface, a whimsically named computer program that helps machines understand written English.

Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google is offering the code, and SyntaxNet—the software programming toolkit that it is part of—free for anyone to distribute or modify, according to a company blog post on Thursday.

“Our hope is that people will just use this instead of building their own,” said Dave Orr,SyntaxNet’s product manager. “They don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

 SyntaxNet is the latest among artificial-intelligence software systems to be released by large tech companies under an open-source license, which allows anyone to access, use and tweak the software. This week, Amazon.com Inc. made its Deep Scalable Sparse Tensor Network Engine available on the online code repository GitHub.In November, Google released TensorFlow, its machine-learning code. Facebook Inc. has open-sourced both software and hardware systems for artificial intelligence.

SyntaxNet helps machines in breaking down sentences into their component parts of speech and in decoding the relationships between words and phrases. Its work is similar to the sentence-diagramming exercises taught in schools to teach grammar, but done at a faster pace.

Upon parsing sentences, Parsey McParseface can home in on the most relevant words, an analysis that complementary programs can use to perform searches and other tasks. >more

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