AI has the mental capacity of a four-year-old with no common sense

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mit, artificial intelligence, ai, conceptnet

The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) has been truly impressive; however, it doesn’t look like machines are getting anywhere close to a human’s level of understanding. To learn more about the failings of current AI systems, an AI developed at MIT known as the ConceptNet4 was given a standardized IQ test. How did it fair? The results indicate that it has the mental capacity of a four-year-old. That being said, a parent should be more than concerned if their child exhibits any of the same patterns as this MIT prodigy.

What separates the ConceptNet apart from traditional computers is its ability to find connections between different things. For example, any computer could tell you that Tom Brady is a football player, but ConceptNet would also find the relationship between him and his teammates. According to ExtremeTech, not only can the AI regurgitate hard facts, but it can respond to more involved questions regarding these relationships.

To assess the AI’s cognitive abilities, the program was subjected to the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Test, a popular test given to young children. Like most children, the ConceptNet scored better in some categories than others. It was excellent in identifying similarities between items and also demonstrated an impressive vocabulary.

Unfortunately, it exhibited poor performance on comprehension-based questions, indicating that it lacked common sense. For example, it might know the exact freezing and boiling point of water, but it cannot understand the difference between hot and cold. It would also have trouble answering a simple question like "Why do people shake hands?" Answering this type of question involves human intuition and experience; two qualities that all AI systems lack.

At this point in time, researchers have yet to find a way to incorporate common sense into AI. It’s easy to get a machine to recall basic facts, but we are unable to have it draw any conclusions from this knowledge. Unless this hurdle is overcome, then artificial intelligence will never be anything more than an extremely peculiar four-year-old.

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