January 26, 2016
Soon, the speeches that we hear from political figures may be the product of an AI machine that has been specifically designed to write political discourses.
There seems to be a formula to writing speeches. For instance, political speeches sound similar and tend to have a standard format. Arguments in these political discourses seem to be repeated as well. Speeches also seem to use familiar phrases that show the speaker’s certain political affiliation or ideology.
Valentin Kassarnig of the University of Massachusetts Amherst took all of these into consideration and made an AI machine to rival human speech writers.
“In this report we present a system that can generate political speeches for a desired political party,” wrote Kassarnig. “Furthermore, the system allows to specify whether a speech should hold a supportive or opposing opinion.”
Kassarnig said that in order to start training a machine-learning algorithm, he first built a database of around 4,000 political speech nuggets that he got from 53 Congressional floor debates in the United States. He gathered more than 50,000 sentences out of the speeches, with each sentence having 23 words on average. He also divided the speeches into categories depending on the political party (Democrat or Republican) and whether the speech is for or against a certain topic.
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