A team of Salesforce MetaMind researchers have published a brand new paper that could well change how we handle our emails and documents. The team is working on something that would allow the creation of summaries of all your professional communication. Imagine, all the time spent in reading e-mails and poring over documents? Halved or reduced even further!

Like a variety of other innovations taking place, this particular one is powered by machine learning as well. However, it is not easy oh-no. And the longer the text you want to summarize, the harder is your job. The difficulties are further compounded by this. You have two ways of going forward: You can either use machine learning to draw sentences from the block of text or you used completely new language of your own.

However, both of these methods have issues. The first methods limits the content, the accuracy of the summary you can come up with and the second method leads to incoherence and again, accuracy issues. Salesforce latched on to the second method but decided that it could improve the accuracy of the same. By deploying reinforcement learning, it was able to minimize repetitive language and also increase context. Somewhat similar to how a human would summarize something.

Again, it is mostly reinforcement learning at play here. The AI performs the same task again and again and  every time, it returns summaries that are then graded with a score. The AI then adapts itself and makes corrections so that it would receive a higher score the next time around. Again, this is very similar to how we ourselves would modify our strategy while taking up a challenge multiple times.  The only difference is that the machine here takes many, many shots more than what a human would do in its position. The end result however, could well be the same.

And it is working. Okay, so summary generation isn’t perfect yet and it isn’t quite ready for you to take it home. However, there are positive results and with liberal applications of reinforcement learning, we could well reach that point someday soon.

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