Sogou Ranks First in Conversational Question Answering Challenge

Sogou AI's reading comprehension capability is comparable to that of humans

BEIJING, Jan. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sogou Inc. today announced that Sogou Search AI Group ranked first in the Conversational Question Answering (CoQA) Challenge, with an overall score of 82.8%, which surpassed the previous record held by Microsoft and further narrowed the gap with human performance (88.8%).

Launched by Stanford University in August 2018, CoQA is a large-scale dataset for building Conversational Question Answering systems. The goal of the CoQA challenge is to measure the ability of machines to understand a text passage and answer a series of interconnected questions that appear in a conversation. Compared with the well-known reading comprehension dataset - SQuAD, CoQA is highly conversational and can result in a richer variety of questions. While nearly half of SQuAD questions are dominated by what questions, the distribution of CoQA is spread across multiple question types. Furthermore, SQuAD has 100% extractive answers by design, whereas in CoQA, this rate decreased to 66.8%. Leading companies and research institutes, including Microsoft, Stanford University, and Tsinghua University have also participated in the CoQA Challenge.

Sogou Search AI Group's BERT+ Answer Verification (Single model) refreshed all the evaluation indicators of CoQA, and further narrowed the gap between the average reading comprehension level of a machine and a human. Sogou's algorithm model can comprehensively consider the answer extraction, and integrate dialogue history and previous QA information, thus greatly improving a machine's understanding of the question and the accuracy of the answer.

Intuitive Q&A is the future of search. With advances in AI and machine learning, Sogou search technology can accurately analyze user queries and provide reliable answers that are sourced from a vast database of authoritative information.

Sogou has already applied this leading Q&A technology to its product and service portfolio. The Company's healthcare search service, Sogou Mingyi, offers an AI-powered "smart diagnosing assistant" for patients by imitating patient-doctor conversations. After users answer a series of Q&As, Sogou Lawyer, the Company's legal search service, can analyze the information and provide legal advice, a prediction of the case outcome, and references to similar cases.

Sogou continuously pushes the boundaries of AI and the development of more innovative and practical applications of intuitive Q&A to help users in fields such as healthcare, law, and other verticals.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. It is currently expected that the Business Outlook will not be updated until release of Sogou's next quarterly earnings announcement. However, Sogou reserves the right to update its Business Outlook at any time for any reason. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Sogou's and Sogou management's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current plans, estimates, and projections, which involve inherent risks and uncertainties. We caution you that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, intense competition in the market for search and search-related services; our need to continually innovate and adapt in order to grow our business; our reliance on Tencent platforms for a significant portion of our user traffic; and uncertainty regarding the extent and reach of PRC governmental regulation of sponsored search. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Amendment No. 2 to Sogou's Registration Statement on Form F‑1 (Registration No. 333-220928) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 6, 2017, and other documents Sogou files with or submits to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Sogou

Sogou Inc. (NYSE: SOGO) is an innovator in search and a leader in China's internet industry. With a mission to make it easy to communicate and get information, Sogou has grown to become the second largest search engine by mobile queries and the fourth largest internet company by MAU in China. Sogou has a wide range of innovative products and services including the Sogou Input Method, which is the largest Chinese language input software for both mobile and PC. Sogou is also at the forefront of AI development and has made significant breakthroughs in voice and image technologies, machine translation, and Q&A, which have been successfully integrated into our products and services.

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