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This article was published on February 17, 2016

    Super-smart AI epically fails 8th grade science test

    Super-smart AI epically fails 8th grade science test
    Lauren Hockenson
    Story by

    Lauren Hockenson

    Reporter

    Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. She also has a folder full of dog GIFs and uses them liberally on Twitter at @lhockenson.

    For every person who is afraid that robots are suddenly going to become sentient and we’ll have to fight a liquid robot sent from the future to kill us and our moms, this story will give you hope that we still stand a chance.

    MIT Tech Review reports that the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence held a global contest to see whether modern AI could go beyond “superficial intelligence” — i.e. recognizing a photo of a dog or completing repeating tasks like playing endless games of chess. That test ended up being a real test, in 8th grade science to be exact.

    The winner, Israeli contestant Chaim Linhart, used a combination of machine learning techniques and hundreds of thousands of practice questions to prepare his AI for the exam. The machine took the multiple-choice test and answered 59 percent of questions correctly — earning itself a big fat F. Or, perhaps, a Gentleman’s C.

    Still, that score is major for an AI to accomplish, even if the test was modified to exclude diagrams and other variables that your average middle-schooler could handle with aplomb.

    Moreover, it shows how much larger the channel of intelligence will be to cross for AI. Intelligence isn’t about responding to stimuli — it’s also about critical thinking and decision making. Now, when the robots begin to strategize, that’s when I suggest you panic.

    The Best AI Program Still Flunks an Eighth-Grade Science Test [MIT Tech Review]