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Deep learning machine beats humans in IQ test

REF. DATE:19 September 2015 CREATED/MODIFIED: 19 January 2016 14 views No Comment

Computers have never been good at answering the type of verbal reasoning questions found in IQ tests. Now a deep learning machine unveiled in China is changing that.Verbal reasoning

Just over 100 years ago, the German psychologist William Stern introduced the intelligence quotient test as a way of evaluating human intelligence. Since then, IQ tests have become a standard feature of modern life and are used to determine children’s suitability for schools and adults’ ability to perform jobs.

These tests usually contain three categories of questions: logic questions such as patterns in sequences of images, mathematical questions such as finding patterns in sequences of numbers and verbal reasoning questions, which are based around analogies, classifications, as well as synonyms and antonyms.

It is this last category that has interested Huazheng Wang and pals at the University of Science and Technology of China and Bin Gao and buddies at Microsoft Research in Beijing. Computers have never been good at these. Pose a verbal reasoning question to a natural language processing machine and its performance will be poor, much worse than the average human ability.Today, that changes thanks to Huazheng and pals who have built a deep learning machine that outperforms the average human ability to answer verbal reasoning questions for the first time.


Human performance on these tests tends to correlate with educational background. So people with a high school education tend to do least well, while those with a bachelor’s degree do better and those with a doctorate perform best. “Our model can reach the intelligence level between the people with the bachelor degrees and those with the master degrees,” say Huazheng and co.

That’s fascinating work that reveals the potential of deep learning techniques. Huazheng and co are clearly optimistic about future developments. “With appropriate uses of the deep learning technologies, we could be a further step closer to the true human intelligence.”

Deep learning techniques are currently sweeping through computer science like wildfire and the revolution they are creating is still in its early stages. There’s no telling where this revolution will take us but one thing is for sure: William Stern would be amazed.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1505.07909 : Solving Verbal Comprehension Questions in IQ Test by Knowledge-Powered Word Embedding

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