Natural Question Answering Research at Google

just announce on the Google AI Blog …/

Natural Questions: a New Corpus and Challenge for Question Answering Research


this is pretty exciting …hope to this grow and have fruitful implementation on the Google search engine.

this is what the Google AI researchers are saying

…. there are currently no large, publicly available sources of naturally occurring questions (i.e. questions asked by a person seeking information) and answers that can be used to train and evaluate QA models. This is because assembling a high-quality dataset for question answering requires a large source of real questions and significant human effort in finding correct answers.

To help spur research advances in QA, we are excited to announce Natural Questions (NQ), a new, large-scale corpus for training and evaluating open-domain question answering systems, and the first to replicate the end-to-end process in which people find answers to questions. NQ is large, consisting of 300,000 naturally occurring questions, along with human annotated answers from Wikipedia pages, to be used in training QA systems. We have additionally included 16,000 examples where answers (to the same questions) are provided by 5 different annotators,

I am really looking forward to digging into this …good questions and good answers are definitely part of the key for solving some great puzzles ….

have fun …


Plant Intelligence – its true, they do have intelligence.

You can talk to plants and make them happy … yup, and likely they can return the favor!   Did you know that Francis Darwin specialized in Plant Physiology … and stirred the pot just like his dad did. Apparently both Charles and Francis were proponents of the idea that plants were intelligent. This is field is just now picking lot of steam! check

Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence  by Stefano Mancuso

Turns out Francis wasn’t terribly shy … Brilliant Green recounts Francis Darwin’s opening gambit …

on September 2, 1908, at the opening of the annual congress of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, he threw caution to the wind and declared that plants are intelligent beings.

also, take a look at

  • Trewavas, A. (2014). Plant behaviour and intelligence. OUP Oxford.
  • van Loon, L. C. (2016). The intelligent behavior of plants. Trends in plant science21(4), 286-294.
  • Marder, M. (2013). Plant-thinking: A philosophy of vegetal life. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Trewavas, A. (2016). Intelligence, cognition, and language of green plants. Frontiers in psychology7, 588.
  • Trewavas, A. J., and Baluska, F. (2011). The ubiquity of consciousness, cognition and intelligence in life. EMBO Rep.12, 1221–1225. doi: 10.1038/embor.2011.218
  • Trewavas, A. (1999). How plants learn. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences96(8), 4216-4218.
  • Thaler DS. 1994. The evolution of genetic intelligence. Science264: 1698-1699.√

A lot was motivated by Barb’s Nobel Prize talk –  McClintock, B. (1984). The significance of responses of the genome to challenge. Science 226, 792–801. doi: 10.1126/science.15739260

there’s more to this story … check later .

AI, The Real History: McCorduck’s Machines who Think

“The occupational activities of children are learning, thinking, playing and the like. Yet we tell them nothing about those things.”  per AI Pioneer Seymour Papert –  In Pam McCorduck’s Machines who Think, (an outstanding book; Pam is a great author, turns out she’s the wife of Joe Traub who was Computer Science Dept Chair at Carnegie Mellon University & Columbia University … and had amazing insight into the real story 🙂 – not found elsewhere ) 

EXCELLENT EXCELLENT BOOK … It’s really packed with amazing insights and details hidden from the public view …

I didn’t realize Papert’s connection with Piaget and his deep understanding and interest in how children learn.  Of course Papert and Minsky’s Perceptrons were widely known [ and got a refresh boost . The Perceptron. ideas… which, in prehistoric times, with Marvin Minsky, helped pave the way to the AI we know today. — that’s where the real action was and maybe still is …  check the reboot. over at


Coming up soon – in my book: Regarding Natural, Artificial & Other (?) Intelligences.

One of the main categories of discussion in this book is that of worthwhile tasks for AI. I will devote some time to stating some of the recognized questions, problems, and tasks. I will also mention some notable AI accomplishments and highlight a few of the recognized scholarly achievements. Another topic for discussion is the classification of Intelligences. What is Natural Intelligence? What is Artificial General Intelligence? What is Superintelligence? What about human measures such as IQ? G? What does the AlphaZero algorithm beating the best human players in Chess, Go and Shogi mean? Can the Paperclip Apocalypse really happen?

All these and more … coming soon …