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Robot Sits for University Entrance Math Exam in China

Photo Credit: Xinhua
The robot scored 105 points out of 150 in one test, completing it in only 22 minutes whereas it would take a human 2 hours to complete it. The robot scored 100 points in a second version of the test.
by TR Pakistan

A robot named AI-MATHS took the math section of the Chinese university “gaokao” entrance exam and achieved passing scores. The test took place in Chengdu, capital of the Sichuan province in China on June 7, 2017.

The gaokao is widely considered as one of the most important examinations in China whose scores can set the course of a student’s life. The famously difficult test determines whether a student will attend university or not, which university they will end up in and as a result, what their future career might be. Students performing well in this highly competitive examination will end up in highly ranked universities which, in turn, will give them good future prospects.

Students take different versions of the grueling test in different regions of China. The artificial intelligence robot (AI), which was developed by Chengdu Zhunxingyunxue Technology, completed two versions of the test without any internet support. It scored 105 points out of 150 in one test and completed it in only 22 minutes. It then received a 100 points in a second version of the test.

Read more: The Coming Age of Machine Intelligence

According to the Xinhua News Agency, Lin Hui, CEO of Chengdu Zhunxingyunxue Technology said, “It would take two hours for a human to finish the test. I hope next year the machine can improve its performance on logical reasoning and computer algorithms and score over 130.”

The average Chinese student normally solves at least 30,000 questions before taking the examination but AI-MATHS had only solved 500 sets of practical exercise which included 12,000 questions in Math.

AI- MATHS is made up of 11 servers which jointly run an artificial intelligence system. The robot might have been faster at solving questions as compared to humans but it had difficulty in natural language recognition. It scored zero for questions where it could not deduce the meaning of words such as “teacher” or “student” and thus failed to understand what the question was asking.

However, Lin said, “This is not a make-or-break test for a robot. The aim is to train artificial intelligence to learn the way humans reason and deal with numbers.”

The robot had previously given the exam in February, where it had received a lower score of 93 points on one math test.

This was a project of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, which has announced plans to develop AI robots to take on the gaokao. By 2020, the ministry aims to develop robots smart enough to gain admission to leading universities in the country.

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