Artificial Intelligence

Computers Are Now as Smart as 4-Year-Olds

But you can leave them in the closet for days without getting into trouble


Computers are good at a lot of things. Thinking like a grown-up human being is not one of them. Not yet, at least.

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago recently set out to discover just how advanced our artificially intelligent computers have become. Like they'd do with any food-eating human, they gave the computer an IQ test. The machine in question, a ConceptNet 4 artificial intelligence system developed by a bunch of eggheads at MIT, took the Weschsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Test, a standard IQ test for children, and scored about as high as a four-year-old would have. It turns out that while it did well on questions with cut-and-dry answers, the computer had a lot of trouble with the "why" questions.Oh and there was one other thing. "If a child had scores that varied this much," said Robert Sloan, lead author on the study, "it might be a symptom that something was wrong."