AI robot gets ‘A’ on mock entrance exam

Tech November 22, 2016 10:49

By The Japan News/ANN

TOKYO - Scientists revealed that an artificial intelligence robot named Torobo-kun has attained mock-exam scores sufficient to clear entrance tests for reputed private universities.



Torobo-kun, an artificial intelligence (AI) robot, whose creators are aiming for it to “get into” the University of Tokyo, has achieved mock-exam scores good enough to pass entrance exams for prestigious private universities, scientists said.

 The AI robot got an “A” in mock tests intended for people taking this year’s National Center Test for university admissions. Grade A indicates an 80 percent or more possibility of passing admission tests for well-known private universities whose levels are comparable to those of Kansai University and Ritsumeikan University.

 The latest finding was revealed by a team of researchers from the National Institute of Informatics and other institutions during a demonstration event in Tokyo on Nov. 14.

 However, the group said it will temporarily suspend its project to test Torobo-kun through mock exams modeled on the Center Test. That means this year’s testing was the last opportunity to examine the robot’s intellectual power through that method. 

 Instead, its scientists will focus their efforts on the application of AI technology to industrial purposes and on assistance for children’s education.

 The Torobo-kun project kicked off in 2011. Since 2013, it has taken mock tests conducted by major preparatory schools using its stored data regarding the contents of school textbooks and other teaching materials, its ability to calculate.

 In this year’s mock exams, Torobo-kun scored a total of 525 points in eight subjects from five courses of study. This figure amounted to 57.1 in the robot’s hensachi index, or standard score, nearly comparable to last year’s level. Hensachi assesses students in terms of the deviation value of their scores from the median 50 in screening and other testing procedures.

 The increase in Torobo-kun’s grade was due to an improvement in its physics test score from last year’s disappointing result, which contributed to a rise in its total result. This means that for the first time the AI robot has reached a level at which it stands a good chance of passing admission tests for prestigious private universities.

 In a mock entrance mathematics test for the University of Tokyo, Torobo-kun’s hensachi level rose to 76.2, an increase of about 32 points from last year.

 At a demonstration event, a robot that writes Torobo-kun’s answers was also introduced.