ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) and voice recognition technology in smartphones will become so advanced it will be able to read and write to a higher level than one in 20 UK adults.
So says a report put together by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Project Literacy, called 2027: Human vs Machine Literacy.
It states that human literacy rates have stalled since 2000 leaving "758 million adults worldwide and almost two million Brits illiterate", five million of whom have a literacy rate below that expected of an 11-year-oldr old.
At the same time, AI and voice recognition technologies are skilling up, with the report alleging that the humble smartphone equipped with this tech will "surpass the literacy level of over one in 20 British adults within the next 10 years".
The report explains that while machines still have problems understanding the tone and style of language in an autonomous fashion, they can already read text "in a shallow manner" and at scale, giving them a different set of skills than humans when it comes to rapidly processing text for indexing or web search.
The report argues that machine reading can now be seen to be replacing 'human reading', for example, in the role of lawyers who used to have to manually search through documents.
Tests are also now showing that computers can deal with multiple choice, junior-school level science exams with 75 per cent accuracy.
Chief of corporate affairs Kate James at publishing company Pearson, who founded Project Literacy with Microsoft, Worldreader, the Clinton Foundation and UNESCO, weighed in on the situation, saying the report "highlights the gulf between technological and human progression" but that the tech versus nature issue doesn't have to be a "zero-sum game"
"Technology has a crucial role to play in the fight against illiteracy," she said. µ
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