37 minutes | Sep 9, 2021

Communication is Key: A.I. and Humans Speaking in Prose

We talk to our computer by asking it a question and then the computer talks back, trying its best to answer it. At least that’s how the conversation generally happens between humans and A.I. Sometimes we’re happy with the computer’s answer and other times, not so much, and we either try again until we’re successful or give up. But real learning takes place with true dialogue, when there are successive exchanges that deepen understanding and where either a person or a computer can start the conversation. For people and computers to learn, good data is very important — as are ways to access it quickly. Even more important is constructive communication driven by language. Corey Patton is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pramana Labs, and he thinks prose and narrative conversations are the future in communication between A.I. and people.

“We created a way to learn about a relational database using training processes and NLP models that allows a user to just ask the question in free text. What are the most home runs that any Angels outfielder has had in seven at bats, and then instantly get the answer back. It comes back in tables and graphs, and then also human prose, narrative language.” 

Developments in natural-language processing are beginning to allow for dialogue between people and A.I., which in turn creates a foundation for learning. Many people point to the bright, shiny object of vehicle automation when thinking about the potential for A.I., but perhaps the most exciting aspect of A.I. overall is the future of conversation and the amazing opportunity for learning quality exchanges between people and computers will provide. After all, this thirst for learning, and our need to talk to do so, may draw humans and computers even closer together.

On this episode of IT Visionaries, Corey covers the bases about how natural-language processing is being incorporated into the sports world, with professional leagues such as the NHL and beloved publications like Baseball America relying on the technology to get information to audiences more accurately and quickly. And, as Corey says, that’s just the beginning for Pramana Labs as its applications are seeping into other industries spanning from commerce to finance to mortgage lending. Enjoy the episode!


  • Building a MVP: When creating a product, it’s important to solve one particular problem for a customer rather than trying to solve all of them. Lean on the customer to inform the scope of the product based on what they need.
  • Making the NLP Reusable: Having reusable, paramentixed, and interchangeable pieces of NLP data cuts down the time required to get a question answered. Once a question is answered, another question can be asked with only a slight variation, and then another answer can be quickly provided. In this sense, both speed and delivery of accurate information increases.
  • Answering Questions for Intent: The key in NLP is to discover what question a person is trying to ask and then offer up the correct answer. Looking at the entire sentence signature through an analysis of all the pieces that the computer has been trained for allows A.I. the ability to decipher the sentence and then respond accordingly. 
  • A True Two-Way Conversation: The future of NLP is really tech that scans a database and then provides prose, narrative responses. In fact, A.I. will react to things that are happening in real time and create a narrative for what it is seeing without the user necessarily having to ask any questions. This will allow A.I. to initiate conversation and guide a person to the knowledge that they are seeking.

IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform

Play Next