Visual Abstract Reasoning in Computational Imagery


  • Yuan Yang Vanderbilt University



Cognitive Systems, Abstract Reasoning, Visual Reasoning, Analogy, Deep Learning


Despite current AI’s human-like behavior, super efficiency, and unbelievable ability to handle complex games, we still complain that it shows no sign of creativity, originality, or novelty outside its training set, and that it fails to develop new insights into old experience or establish understanding of new experience. In short, it generates content from its training set, but does not invent content. A fundamental reason for this is that current AI is incapable of abstraction and reasoning in an abstract, generalizable, and systematic way. Think, for instance, of what AI systems we can build if we have a base system that can answer this simple question—when two things are the same. Instead of studying these high-level questions, I put my thesis in the context of visual abstract reasoning (VAR), a task widely used in human intelligence tests. A classical example of this task is Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM, see Figure 1), a family of intelligence tests that was designed to measure eductive ability, i.e., the ability to make meaning out of confusion and generate high-level, usually nonverbal, schemata which make it easy to handle complexity. A similar concept to eductive ability is fluid intelligence, or the ability to discriminate and perceive complex relationships when no recourse to answers is stored in memory. Whether eductive ability or fluid intelligence, RPM points to the qualities that have been lacking in AI. To explore these qualities in AI, I propose the following research questions.




How to Cite

Yang, Y. (2024). Visual Abstract Reasoning in Computational Imagery. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 38(21), 23431-23432.