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This AI just passed a science test and may be smarter than an eighth grader

Fast Company logo Fast Company 9/4/2019 Melissa Locker

WWE star John Cena currently hosts a game show on Nickelodeon that asks one question: “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” At least one AI can affirmatively say yes. In fact, it may be smarter than a sixth grader, a seventh grader, and an eighth grader, too.

The artificial intelligence system, called Aristo, just passed an eighth-grade science test, a benchmark in AI development that scientists had been aiming to reach for four years, The New York Times reports. Aristo didn’t just squeak by the test, either. It got an A on the quiz, correctly answering more than 90% of the questions on the test designed for New York students, and then it went on to answer questions on an exam for 12th graders, earning a solid B (80%).

The AI’s science prowess shows how far artificial intelligence has come at mimicking human logic, language, and decision-making. Unlike your average eighth grader, the AI, which was designed by the Allen Institute—the lab founded by the late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen—was built solely to take multiple-choice tests. According to the Times, the researchers view standardized science tests as a more meaningful AI benchmark than the machine’s ability to play chess, and Aristo passed with flying colors. It’s just a matter of time until researchers create an AI that can go to MIT and create itself, kickstarting some sort of rift in the very fabric of the universe.

Now some savvy eighth grader just needs to harness the power of the AI to ace their science test and prove to those clever machines who is really the boss.

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