NTT Corp has developed an artificial intelligence system that can examine for picture books based on children's likings and language aptitude. By putting information into the system, such as the kind of drawings that a child likes, their age and other data, it will recommend a list of suitable picture books.
NTT will sell the system to libraries, plant market and other organizations through its group business. It is expected to help people choose picture books.
When people choose picture books, they tend to look to suggested ages printed on the back. However, after NTT surveyed mainly bestseller picture books, it found about half did not specify ages. Even when books specified a target age, they were vague, such as "for babies."
An NTT research group initially determined the average period that children begin to use about 2,700 words, with cooperation from more than 3,000 pairs of parents and children. Next, it made a database of picture books by loading the texts and illustrations from about 5,000 books into the system.
Based on the database, the artificial intelligence determines difficulty levels centered on the length of sentences, words and other aspects. It also mines illustration characteristics, such as "many primary colors" or the level of detail, and searches for books that match children's preferences and developmental stages.
Supervisor Tessei Kobayashi, a senior research scientist, said, "People can choose suitable books for children using the system. It also helps children to learn words.