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Math AI Robotics Science

Fujitsu Building Robot To Pass Math Exams 75

itwbennett writes "Pity those poor Japanese students who attend cram schools, either full time or in addition to their regular schooling, to have a shot at passing the grueling math entrance exams for Tokyo University. If Fujitsu has its way, those students will be upstaged by a robot. The company has set a goal for the year 2021 of building an artificial intelligence robot that can pass the exams."
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Fujitsu Building Robot To Pass Math Exams

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  • Will it be able to cheat? :-)

    • Given that 'memory' is perhaps the area of AI we've had the most success with(not any of the fancy salience-based selective tricks; but quantity has a quality all its own), normal function might well be indistinguishable from the vast majority of human cheating.

    • Will it be able to cheat? :-)

      Given that most of the maths department courses where I work ban the use of all electronic calculation devices it will be cheating by taking the exam.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Monday September 10, 2012 @05:15PM (#41293153)

    Wolfram Alpha already knows that level of math.

    • And it parses Japanese, right?
      • Does anybody know how much that would matter on this particular test?

        No commercially available system(and quite likely no machine system yet developed) can actually parse natural languages especially well; but if the only Japanese is just boilerplate 'Name', 'Date', 'Solve for X and show your work', that won't really matter. If the test is larded with cunningly phrased word problems, by contrast...

    • Well, Wolfram|Alpha is a computational search engine. Wolfram Mathematica is what you're really looking for to do number crunching.

      But there are various AI challenges, like reading comprehension, which is really what it's about. Can you give an AI a word problem and have them solve it? It's more difficult than you may think.

      • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

        Wolfram Alpha is powered by Mathematica behind the scenes, you can ask it to do symbolic computation like integrating a function for example. I used it as an example because it can already parse natural language input to an extent. Also, I don't remember many word problems on that level, that's the kind of thing they torture you at fourth grade. Even when problems aren't presented in an exact way, they usually use templates which can be obtainde by going through the exams of previous years.

    • But it's not a robot. In Japan it doesn't count and is ignored unless it is a humanoid shaped robot.

  • just reuse last years test and or just have it look up the answer key.

  • Japan is why to much of a teach the test and it's all about the test and cramming for it.

  • It would have been nice to give a sample problem.
  • by bobbutts ( 927504 ) <bobbutts@gmail.com> on Monday September 10, 2012 @05:25PM (#41293285)
    It strikes a "major emotional chord" if a computer can handle some exam better than students? Does it strike a major emotional chord with a sprinter if a car can beat him in a race?
    • let's try this:

      would it strike an emotional chord with husbands if their wives preferred to have sex with their vibrators instead of them?

      don't answer that, it's a stupid setup. it's obvious exactly which emotional chord you're assuming is being struck, but it seemed clear to me that sentence only meant that people in japan would be very opinionated about something that permeates their lives. as opposed to america, where getting a C on any exam is great. a robot that can pass the SAT in america? meh,
  • the students will positively hate that.

  • by Iamthecheese ( 1264298 ) on Monday September 10, 2012 @05:48PM (#41293537)
    Without word problems this is just OCR plus stuff we've been doing for decades. Even with word problems it's not groundbreaking, not since Watson.
    • Watson wasn't really that groundbreaking, just well-publicized.
    • So research combining at least three cutting edge AI problems (each of which have had millions of R&D spent on) in to a new application isn't worth doing?
      Computer vision and OCR may already have many practical applications but it is far from a 'solved' problem. The existence of Watson and Alpha (both of which require millions of pounds of hardware and hundreds of human PhDs to solve very narrow domain problems) hardly suggests that the is no need for further AI research.

  • From the headline I assumed that Fijitsu were creating a robot in order to pass their math exams. "What the hell," I figured, "as far as extra credit goes it shows a fairly comprehensive understanding of the subject." But then I thought, "how did Fujitsu collectively fail their math exams?" (Or, if you are the other side of the pond, their maths exams).
  • I used to think that software and computers in general would be moving away from typical human interfaces, but I now think that having software/robots perform tasks that humans are also capable of is the future. As a concrete example, I used to think that it would be a bad design to have an application that screen grabs to parse text when it could have the text in a computer readable form, but I see now that a computer that operates a human interface is an advantage. I think that this robot is a step in t
  • What if the test consists in building an AI that can pass the test?

    • by plover ( 150551 ) *

      What if the test consists in building an AI that can pass the test?

      Then they have built a test that will accurately detect the arrival of the Singularity.

  • The project will need to process text and formulas meant for human eyes, extract the math problems and convert them into a form meant for computers

    Are they going to have it hold a pencil and flip through the pages of the exam as well?
    Robotics wise, this is kinda cute, but not that interesting.
    AI wise, yeah, this is pretty interesting, but involves no robots.
    Maybe this is all a translation issue. Don't the Japanese differentiate robots from AI?

  • Even Deep Thought asks them to do his math homework.

  • by Tynin ( 634655 ) on Monday September 10, 2012 @06:48PM (#41294119)
    As soon as something like this robot is able to be made, the miniaturized stealth version will no doubt follow. The device would just need a moment of line of sight on the test and could deliver the answers to you, perhaps in morse code skin taps. I suspect there are quite a few people who would love to be able to breeze into an engineering degree, as just one example.
    • Wrong: The next extension will be education. If it can ace the test - and I'm assuming it's a test where you have to show your work and are graded on this - then it can also tutor someone who is learning the material. Can you imagine what a great study tool that would be?
      • by Tynin ( 634655 )
        Still right, but you are correct as well. And not even just education. I could use this at work. Say I'm working on trying to figure out why reset isn't working on this VM I'm running that has kernel panic'd. It could take a glance at a few key bits and go out and scour the internet for solutions while I go validate all of the mundane bits are correct (or perhaps it has even better knowledge than the internet if you pay for license fee). It is basically Microsoft Bob of the future, that could assist / comp
  • by Kittenman ( 971447 ) on Monday September 10, 2012 @07:32PM (#41294413)
    Possibly called the "Feeling of power". Wasn't there one where a soldier learnt to do computation in his head (multiplication, etc) rather than use a computer. Seniors couldn't believe it, checked his answers against a computer and they were right. When they started making plans to use human pilots to replace computers in missiles/bombs (a pre-runner of these pilotless drones, I just realized) the original soldier killed himself.
  • by John Bresnahan ( 638668 ) on Monday September 10, 2012 @08:05PM (#41294629)
    My dog ate my math exam, and later passed it. Thank you! I'm here all week!
  • We already have robots that do math. They're called computers lol. Wouldn't building sexbots be a lot more constructive and profitable? rofl. yes, I know, they're already building those too lol. It was a specific reference :P
  • The students will only get mad if a factory churns out test-taking robots who take up all the admissions slots.

  • Computer Does Math, story at 11.

    Seriously, I want those 10 seconds of my life spent reading TFS back.

  • I keep skimming that headline, and every time I read it as a robot to foil meth exams.

    We have lots of roving gangs of meth cookers who go around doing everything they can to foil the government's attempts to avoid selling them Sudafed. It's a big problem that could get even bigger if this Fujitsu robot really helps them foil meth exams.

    Please allow me to be the first to bow to our meth addicted, toothless hillbilly Fujitsu robot overlords.

  • I thought that was what American public schools were for...

Air is water with holes in it.