How to Write Science Questions that Are Easy for People and Hard for Computers
AbstractAs a challenge problem for AI systems, I propose the use of hand-constructed multiple-choice tests, with problems that are easy for people but hard for computers. Specifically, I discuss techniques for constructing such problems at the level of a fourth-grade child and at the level of a high-school student. For the fourth grade level questions, I argue that questions that require the understanding of time, impossible or pointless scenarios, of causality, of the human body, or of sets of objects, and questions that require combining facts or require simple inductive arguments of indeterminate length can be chosen to be easy for people, and are likely to be hard for AI programs, in the current state of the art. For the high-school level, I argue that questions that relate the formal science to the realia of laboratory experiments or of real-world observations are likely to be easy for people and hard for AI programs. I argue that these are more useful benchmarks than existing standardized tests such as the SATs or Regents tests. Since the questions in standardized tests are designed to be hard for people, they often leave many aspects of what is hard for computers but easy for people untested
How to Cite
Davis, E. (2016). How to Write Science Questions that Are Easy for People and Hard for Computers. AI Magazine, 37(1), 13-22. https://doi.org/10.1609/aimag.v37i1.2637
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The author(s) warrants that they are the sole author and owner of the copyright in the above article/paper, except for those portions shown to be in quotations; that the article/paper is original throughout; and that the undersigned right to make the grants set forth above is complete and unencumbered.
- The author(s) agree that if anyone brings any claim or action alleging facts that, if true, constitute a breach of any of the foregoing warranties, the author(s) will hold harmless and indemnify AAAI, their grantees, their licensees, and their distributors against any liability, whether under judgment, decree, or compromise, and any legal fees and expenses arising out of that claim or actions, and the undersigned will cooperate fully in any defense AAAI may make to such claim or action. Moreover, the undersigned agrees to cooperate in any claim or other action seeking to protect or enforce any right the undersigned has granted to AAAI in the article/paper. If any such claim or action fails because of facts that constitute a breach of any of the foregoing warranties, the undersigned agrees to reimburse whomever brings such claim or action for expenses and attorneys’ fees incurred therein.
- Author(s) retain all proprietary rights other than copyright (such as patent rights).
- Author(s) may make personal reuse of all or portions of the above article/paper in other works of their own authorship.
- Author(s) may reproduce, or have reproduced, their article/paper for the author’s personal use, or for company use provided that original work is property cited, and that the copies are not used in a way that implies AAAI endorsement of a product or service of an employer, and that the copies per se are not offered for sale. The foregoing right shall not permit the posting of the article/paper in electronic or digital form on any computer network, except by the author or the author’s employer, and then only on the author’s or the employer’s own web page or ftp site. Such web page or ftp site, in addition to the aforementioned requirements of this Paragraph, must provide an electronic reference or link back to the AAAI electronic server, and shall not post other AAAI copyrighted materials not of the author’s or the employer’s creation (including tables of contents with links to other papers) without AAAI’s written permission.
- Author(s) may make limited distribution of all or portions of their article/paper prior to publication.
- In the case of work performed under U.S. Government contract, AAAI grants the U.S. Government royalty-free permission to reproduce all or portions of the above article/paper, and to authorize others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes.
- In the event the above article/paper is not accepted and published by AAAI, or is withdrawn by the author(s) before acceptance by AAAI, this agreement becomes null and void.