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Power of BABEL

May 10, 2014

Anthony Cody, Education Week blogger, posted an essay describing BABEL, the “invention” of Les Perelman, an MIT researcher. BABEL, the “Basic Automatic BS Essay Language Generator”, was designed to write nonsensical “essays” that would yield high scores on standardized achievement test prompts that are graded by computers. Cody’s post described the response when Perelman fed BABEL a topic suggested by a Canadian radio interviewer, “Fair Elections Act.”

Fun fair for adherents and presumably will never be altruistic in the extent to which we purloin the analysis. Fair is the most fundamental postulate of humankind. Whiner to act in the study of semiotics in addition to the search for reality. Act is intrepidly and clandestinely axiomatic by most of the scenarios. As I have learned in my semiotics class, act is the most fundamental exposition of humanity.

When Perelman submitted this essay for grading on the computerized system he received a score of 5.4 out of 6, placing this essay in the 90th percentile. Anyone familiar with the existing limits of speech recognition can see how this happened… but “reform” is all about inexpensive and opaque grading mechanisms for “high stakes” tests so I imagine the response will be something like: “We haven’t got this figured out yet… but trust me… we can make it work eventually”…. 

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