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Fujitsu Building Robot To Pass Math Exams

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the head-of-the-robot-class dept.

Math 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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75 comments

Wolfram Alpha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293069)

n/t

Robot first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293101)

Will robots have all the first posts in the future?

Re:Robot first post (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293217)

They want to build an artificial intelligence robot. Of course it won't care about first posts.
However they have to be careful: If they make it too intelligent, it will recognize solving the exam as an useless task and refuse to do it.

I have some bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293125)

I have some bad news for Fujitsi. I had perfect scores for all of my math exams, so at best their robot will be even with me.

Re:I have some bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293165)

The robot, however, might not feel so compelled to stroke its e-penis.

Re:I have some bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293223)

The robot, however, might not feel so compelled to stroke its e-penis.

From what little I know of Japan, it might feel compelled to stroke its actual penis.

Re:I have some bad news. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293341)

The robot, however, might not feel so compelled to stroke its e-penis.

From what little I know of Japan, it might feel compelled to stroke its actual penis(es)/tentacles.

FTFY

Re:I have some bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293361)

From what I know of japan, it might actually have both men and women offering to stroke it's actual penis, just because the fujitsu engineers did a better job than the japanese' gods :) Much like everything that's resource constrained in japan, when it came time for god to forge their men katanas, he only had enough to forge each of them tantos :D

(Apologies to anyone who finds this joke in bad taste! But if the sheath fits....)

Captcha was 'defiling'. How very apt.

Leave the Emporer out of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293529)

did a better job than the japanese' gods

Show some respect, he's not only a God, he has his own Wikipedia page!

How intelligent will the robot be? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293151)

Will it be able to cheat? :-)

Re:How intelligent will the robot be? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293277)

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.

Now exams need Captcha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41294123)

Are you a bot?

How can it not? (2)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294559)

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.

We already have that (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293153)

Wolfram Alpha already knows that level of math.

Re:We already have that (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293181)

And it parses Japanese, right?

Re:We already have that (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293319)

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...

Re:We already have that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41299665)

There are likely work problems, which on a college entrance exam would include a mixture of three separate writing systems (phonetic Hirigana and idiographic Kanji for the Japanese words, and phonetic Katakana for foreign words which includes a lot of English words for technology invented in the 20th century, that the Japanese didn't bother creating a new word for).

Parsing those word problems would be easier than generic natural language processing since they'll still be math problems and thus will be less ambiguously worded than common speech. However Japanese is a highly context sensitive language (much more so than English).

All and all this will probably be pretty challenging but doable.

Re:We already have that (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293247)

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.

Re:We already have that (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293741)

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.

Re:We already have that (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295057)

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 (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293189)

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 (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293241)

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

Re:Japan is why to much of a teach the test and it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293781)

Did you translate this from Japanese?

Re:Japan is why to much of a teach the test and it (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294429)

in other news...
japan to build a better language translating robot.

Re:Japan is why to much of a teach the test and it (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295003)

All your math exams are belong to us!

Intelligence and higher education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293245)

A software robot that could pass university entrance tests would strike a major emotional chord in the country, where the tests are a major part of society. Most students attend cram schools for years to prepare for the tests, in addition to their normal schools, and often become full time cram-school students if they fail to get into the university of their choice.

Reminds me of an argument I had with an old girlfriend. I don't think much of school - it's just to get a piece of paper to be taken seriously. I guess it "proves" you have the fundamentals.

Old-Girlfriend: It proves that you can apply yourself.

Me: i guess. It also proves you can play the game and follow your porfessor's orders - but don't ever - never - challenge them. (I learned that the hard way.) *silence*

The sex was ... OK. I'm glad she's gone. Body of a swimsuit model, though.

Anyway, if these "AI" (more like an expert system than artificial intelligence) robots can do well an intellignece test and an entrance exam, then I don't think they know what intellgience is - the robot makers or the test examiners. hence, the stereotype of Asians who can't think and create but can only copy and parrot facts.

God! I HATE touch pads and html in a block - combine them and F'nA!

Re:Intelligence and higher education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293625)

It's evidence you have the ability even get the right answers. If you don't get your work validated by a 3rd party you'll never know if you're dumb or not.

Re:Intelligence and higher education (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293813)

Anyway, if these "AI" (more like an expert system than artificial intelligence) robots...

Set, met subset [wikipedia.org].

...can do well an [sic]intellignece test and an entrance exam, then I don't think they know what [sic]intellgience is - the robot makers or the test examiners.

I believe that's implying that intelligence is impossible to test. Which is a silly idea.

hence, the stereotype of Asians who can't think and create but can only copy and parrot facts.

In other news, racist ass-hats have a high correlation with idiots and the ignorant.

Re:Intelligence and higher education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41294249)

It's ok to post as your alter-ego, pretending that you once had a girlfriend. But the part about the swimsuit model body and the sex, there you took your fantasy out of Slashdot bounds.

Controversy in this article (3, Insightful)

bobbutts (927504) | about a year and a half ago | (#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?

Re:Controversy in this article (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293667)

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, who cares? tosh point oh is on...

Re:Controversy in this article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293751)

im not hurt by a robot being smarter than me, cause i know a human programmed it, and a human taught it, and a human put it together. let me know when robots start making firmware updates on their own, then i will get worried :D

Re:Controversy in this article (1)

bobbutts (927504) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293947)

Car analogies only please, thank you.

Re:Controversy in this article (3, Funny)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294215)

would it strike an emotional chord with husbands if their wives preferred to have sex with their car's shifter instead of them?

does that work for you?

Re:Controversy in this article (2)

Matheus (586080) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294339)

I'll get back to you on that question in a minute...

(now where's my box of tissues?)

Re:Controversy in this article (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294479)

they're in the glovebox, but your wife's foot has it securely shut. you'll just have to shine the upholstery with a sock or something.

When did we stop looking for STRONG-AI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293533)

and start creating all these weak-AI that can't do anything important or effective?

Re:When did we stop looking for STRONG-AI? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293709)

1974 and/or 1987. And now the term has been tainted like cold fusion.

Re:When did we stop looking for STRONG-AI? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294341)

Strong AI - AI that's perfect. Weak AI - AI that models the very fallible human intelligence (or lack thereof).

Re:When did we stop looking for STRONG-AI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41296653)

Strong AI - AIs that match humans in understanding (including stupid humans; AIs aren't even close to them)
Weak AI - AIs which use brute force and related algorithms to appear smart

Strong AI is a moving target. Once we figure out an algorithm to do some task we thought difficult, the solution of how to do it becomes obvious and trivial and thus no longer part of strong AI. See playing chess, see playing checkers (which has been solved), see routing/traveling algs, see massive logic/probability tables, see SLAM, etc...

Word problems (3)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Word problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41297047)

How is this different from wolfram alpha + OCR?

Re:Word problems (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | about a year and a half ago | (#41297827)

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.

See next-newest article on main page (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293617)

Does it work anything like this [slashdot.org]?

Headline comprehension fail (1)

Evardsson (959228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293663)

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).

Re:Headline comprehension fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41302079)

I thought they were anticipating that the HVAC system in the Fujitsu building would score well.

I think it's an excellent idea (1)

inputdev (1252080) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293791)

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 the direction that we are already heading - our software will augment all of our existing skills - driving, writing, reading, playing games, etc., with a better interface - since it behaves like another human.

What if? (1)

lorinc (2470890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293849)

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

Re:What if? (1)

plover (150551) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294651)

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.

Remember when robots involved robotics? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293859)

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?

Re:Remember when robots involved robotics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41294439)

"Don't the Japanese differentiate robots from AI?"
when it comes to love... no

This thing will never beat any real Asian kid. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41294019)

Even Deep Thought asks them to do his math homework.

Re:This thing will never beat any real Asian kid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41301127)

Technically deep thought designed a planet such that it would evolve Asian kids to do it's homework for it.

But what about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41294083)

Yea, but can will it be able to qualify for a boat loan?

the next extention, cheating (2)

Tynin (634655) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:the next extention, cheating (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294221)

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?

Re:the next extention, cheating (1)

Tynin (634655) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294285)

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 / complement the user in any specific task that it has a knowledge domain on. There are so many uses that it is silly. But first, they need to build it. I'm just suggesting some of the first uses will be to cheat, oh, and the military, but definitely to cheat.

Reminds me of an Asimov story (2)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

more constructive (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295011)

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

admissions? (1)

magarity (164372) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295833)

The students will only get mad if a factory churns out test-taking robots who take up all the admissions slots.

Just a fancy calculator (1)

drcheap (1897540) | about a year and a half ago | (#41296045)

Computer Does Math, story at 11.

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

grueling math entrance exams for Tokyo University? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41296473)

grueling math entrance exams for Tokyo University

FWIW, my impression of those exams was that they are somewhere between 6 and 12 months behind entrance exams to typical west-European universities. Surprisingly little knowledge of linear algebra or statistics is expected, and the calculus is even more formulaic than what one finds in the west. ...which explains why a robot might pass, I guess.

How about robots that clean up nuclear disasters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41296803)

Why don't they build robots that clean up after nuclear disasters? This would be a far greater benefit to Japanese people than robots to cheat in math exams.

kBKbxzAv

Fujitsu Robot... Meth Exams... (1)

Spugglefink (1041680) | about a year and a half ago | (#41297631)

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.

True test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41298147)

I want to see the robot write code. Orally or in a typed paragraph give it a set of parameters for a software application and see if it can write one. The ultimate test will be to have it write AI level code.

The day it can do that I would consider it a breakthrough, computers that can write their own software just by telling it what you want to do.

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