Why AI Can Still Hardly Pass an Eighth Grade Science Test


Image: Petit Computer Wiki
Image: Petit Computer Wiki
An artificial intelligence competition that asked AI models to answer eighth-grade science questions announced its winners this week—but it doesn’t look like robots will be graduating junior high any time soon.

By Victoria Turk|MOTHERBOARD

The Allen AI Science Challenge, set up by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, asked participants to build AI models that could answer multiple-choice questions akin to those found on eighth grade science exams. The winning AI scored a rather lukewarm 59.3 percent—not exactly an A grade.

The task was posed as an alternative to the conventional Turing Test, which is often criticised for being an exercise in duping gullible humans rather than proving any real “intelligence.” The point of using an exam-style test was to challenge computer models’ language processing and reasoning skills, as they need to be able to first understand the question and then find and apply the correct answer.

But even the highest scoring methods didn’t seem to get close to human-style logic or reasoning.

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