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Research and Academics
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Researchers Devise a Universal Intelligence Test
Are computer systems more intelligent than those of 20 years ago? A pair of researchers has devised an intelligence test that provides the answer.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Feb 10, 2011

Researchers are on the hunt for the universal intelligence test. (Photo: SINC)

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Until now there has not been any way of checking whether current computer systems are more intelligent than those in use 20 years ago.

But that could change thanks to a study performed by a pair of researchers from Spain and Australia. “We have developed an 'anytime' intelligence test; in other words, a test that can be interrupted at any time, but that gives a more accurate idea of the intelligence of the test subject if there is a longer time available in which to carry it out," said José Hernández-Orallo, a researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), in a statement received by Robotics Trends.

That capability is just one of several that are needed to devise a so-called universal intelligence test. "The others are that it can be applied to any subject—whether biological or not—at any point in its development (child or adult, for example), for any system now or in the future, and with any level of intelligence or speed," Hernández-Orallo noted.

The researcher and his colleague, David L. Dowe of Monash University in Clayton, Australia, have suggested the use of mathematical and computational concepts to satisfy all the conditions. The pair’s study has been published in the journal Artificial Intelligence and forms part of the Anytime Universal Intelligence project, in which other scientists from the UPV and the Complutense University of Madrid are taking part.

The authors have employed interactive exercises in settings with a difficulty level estimated by calculating the so-called “Kolmogorov complexity” (they measure the number of computational resources needed to describe an object or a piece of information). This makes them different from traditional psychometric tests and artificial intelligence tests, such as the famed Turing Test.

The study could advance the field of artificial intelligence at a time when computers have edged ever closer to mimicking human thinking. Until now, there were no theories or tools to evaluate and compare future intelligent systems that could demonstrate intelligence greater than human intelligence, the statement noted.

"The universal and unified evaluation of intelligence, be it human, non-human animal, artificial or extraterrestrial, has not been approached from a scientific viewpoint before, and this is a first step", the researcher concludes, Hernández-Orallo said.

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