Robots Can Now Perform Better Than You On The SATs, Which, Nevermind, I Guess Isn’t That Impressive



What did you get on your SATs? Fourteen? Three? Nine? I can’t imagine it was anything better than that, so the fact a robot can do better shouldn’t surprise you.

But it should excite you. Because once robots perfect taking standardized tests, then only robots will have to take our standardized tests. Why would you have human do it and fail when a robot could do it and pass?

This latest iteration in our own obsolescence is an ace at math, which is good, because we humans really suck at that. Per The Washington Post:

The latest potential step forward comes from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in collaboration with the University of Washington, where an AI system has gotten a fairly average score (for a high schooler) on the math section of the SAT — 500 points out of 800. That’s about 49 percent accuracy, and comes quite close to the high school senior average of 513 points.

Not impressive at all, you say, until you realize the robot was taking the test the same way you do. With a number two pencil and everything.

 GeoS wasn’t fed these problems in a language it could inherently understand. It had to read them straight off the paper, confusing diagrams and all, and interpret them the same way a human student would. After “looking” at the problem, GeoS uses the diagram and text to come up with a set of formulas that it “thinks” are most likely to correspond with the problem. Then, since those formulas are in its native tongue, the system is able to solve the questions handily. Once it has an answer it goes back to the multiple choice options and looks for one that matches its outcome.

That is a real brain (almost), and something the designers of GeoS say is a big step forward.

[Ali Farhadi, a research manager at AI2] and his colleagues believe that this demonstration shows a step toward true AI — a computer brain that can work just like a human’s — even if it hasn’t blown us out of the water yet.

Since things will only get more impressive here, I say we just give up now. Or, barring that, ban the SATs so robots won’t have an advantage getting into the best colleges.

[Via @RachelFeltman]