• To-Robo software scored higher on the English section of Japan’s standardized college entrance test than the average Japanese high school senior
  • Developers hope it will eventually pass the entrance exam for Tokyo University

Mark Prigg for MailOnline

Japanese researchers have revealed artificial intelligence software so smart it can beat most real students on a high school test.

Known as To-Robo, the AI software scored higher on the English section of Japan’s standardized college entrance test than the average Japanese high school senior, its developers said.

It has also managed to double its score in just 12 months – raising hopes it will eventually pass the entrance exam for Tokyo University, Japan’s most prestigious college.

Man vs machine: Tokyo University helped this robot, Kirobo, which was sent to space. Now researchers hope to create artificial intelligence software so smart it can pass the university entrance exam itself.

Man vs machine: Tokyo University helped this robot, Kirobo, which was sent to space. Now researchers hope to create artificial intelligence software so smart it can pass the university entrance exam itself.

SAMPLE QUESTION

To-Robo was able to correctly choose the answer that best fits the following conversation:

A: I hear your father is in the hospital.

B: Yes, and he has to have an operation next week.

A: <insert answer> Let me know if I can do anything.

B: Thanks a lot.

Possible answers: 

–Exactly, Yes

–No problem

–That’s a relief

–That’s too bad

‘The average score for the English section of the standardized entrance exam was 93.1 (out of 200), but the AI scored 95,’ a spokesman for NTT Science and Core Technology Laboratory Group said. 

Last year the software scored 52.

The NTT lab is developing the software alongside the National Institute of Informatics, and is in charge of developing the software’s English capabilities. 

The project began in 2011 with a 10-year time frame for reaching its goal.

Questions from the test were turned into data that could be recognized by the software. 

To-Robo then processed the information, distinguishing the logic of exchanges and correctly identifying the right answer out of multiple choices. 

‘One of our purposes is to reveal the limitations of AI,’ said Noriko Arai, an NII professor who heads the project, told the Asahi Shimbun.

 ‘Showing how humans and machines will be able to supplement each other is a key for Japan’s economic growth in the future.’

The latest test score results showed that Torobo-kun has a probability of at least 80 percent of passing the exams of 80 percent of 581 private universities across Japan.

One reason is the great improvement in its scores for English and Japanese, Yoyogi Seminar officials said.

The latest test score results showed that Torobo-kun has a probability of at least 80 percent of passing the exams of 80 percent of 581 private universities across Japan.

The latest test score results showed that Torobo-kun has a probability of at least 80 percent of passing the exams of 80 percent of 581 private universities across Japan.

However, they admit the software has has more work to do.

The AI program cannot grasp unrealistic situations, such as an object with no mass or an environment with no friction, in the physics test.

It also struggled with concepts it had never heard of – for instance, it did not know what democracy is like because it has yet to learn the idea of majority rule, social justice concepts and other related information.

In the English test, it was unable to answer questions using figures and illustrations. 

It was better at recognizing photographs, the researchers said.

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Who is this week’s top commenter?
Find out now