Fujitsu's robot will beat uni exams for you

Summary:Stressing over university exams? Fear not. Fujitsu has built student's ultimate dream robot.

Researchers at technology giant Fujitsu is attempting to build a robot capable of completing one of Japan's most stress-inducing and painful university entrance exams, called nyugaku shiken.

Entrance exams are the stuff of legend in Japan. The country has specialist 'cram schools' to help students beat these compulsory tests, rising in difficulty depending on the prestige of the university. But what if a robot could do it for you?


Japan's National Institute of Informatics (NII) began the 'Todai Robot Project' in 2011. The core question that participants have to answer is: "Can a Robot Pass the University of Tokyo (Todai) Entrance Exam?"

The aim is to encourage companies and engineers to build an artificial brain capable of passing standard entrance exams by 2016, and the more difficult Todai exams by 2021.

Todai University is one of Japan's top seven universities, and so hopeful students are required to pass an additional exam in maths regardless of the subject they are applying for.

Fujitsu Laboratories is one of the project participants, using algorithms and formula to prompt their robot candidate to pass the exam with "high marks". The robot has to analyze words mixed with mathematical phrases, identify formulas and how they relate to each other -- and be able to weigh options to work out a solution to a problem.

Currently, the robot is able to work out approximately 60 percent of questions. In the world of university exams, this isn't good enough -- yet. However, the company wants the competition to mean more than simply a medal:

"Fujitsu Laboratories sees its involvement in the Todai Robot math team as a way to develop, along with the NII, the technologies that will be needed for human-centric IT. The hope is that the technologies developed as part of this project will enable anyone to easily use sophisticated mathematical analysis tools, which will lead to solutions for a wide range of real-world problems, and even the automation of mathematical analysis and optimization."

Think you can pass? Some sample questions can give you an idea of the task the robot faces.


Topics: Tech Industry


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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