Japanese AI Bot Blitzes Uni Entrance Exam

By Bryan Lufkin on at

An artificial intelligence engine received such high scores on a standardised test that it’d have an 80 per cent chance of getting into a Japanese university.

Reports state that the program, developed by Japan’s National Institute of Informatics, took a multi-subject university entrance exam and passed with an above-average score of 511 points out of a possible 950. (The national average is 416.) With scores like that, it has an 8 out of 10 chance of being admitted to 441 private institutions in Japan, and 33 national ones.

The AI took some time to perfect, and it still has a way to go. The team had been working on the AI since 2011, the same year IBM’s Watson dominated quiz show Jeopardy! champions in a multi-day tournament. Previously, the Japanese AI program had received below-average results, but this time around, the robot did particularly well in maths and history questions, which have straightforward answers but it still received iffy marks in the physics section of the test, which requires advanced language processing skills.

It's called the Todai Robot Project and the creators aim to design robot smart enough to get into Tokyo University, the country’s most prestigious seat of learning, by 2021. (“Todai” is a nickname for Tokyo Daigaku, the Japanese name for Tokyo University.)

Right now, though, the Japan team’s success proves that robots can be programmed to tackle complex word problems, combine images and text, and could be capable of better semantic recognition that can allow them to answer many different types of questions.

Does not compute. Does not compute. [Todai Robot Project via Wall Street Journal]

Top image via Shutterstock.