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Japanese robot flunks top university entry exam

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Tokyo: The dream of a Japanese robot with artificial intelligence to secure a place at the prestigious University of Tokyo is over after the bot failed miserably in a standard entrance exam. The robot called Torobo-kun has now failed in the entry exam for four years in a row and will have to work in a “real job” in industry, according to PTI.

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“As the robot scored about the same as last year, we were able to gauge the possibilities and limits of artificial intelligence,” said Noriko Arai, a professor at the National Institute of Informatics. “From now on, we will grow its abilities in the fields it’s doing well in and aim to improve them to levels that can be applied in industry,” said Arai, who heads the team behind Torobo-kun.


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Torobo-kun has made several attempts to pass the National Centre Test, a standardised exam adopted by Japanese universities, since 2013, ‘The Asahi Shimbun’ reported. The robot tackled a mock exam designed by education-publishing company Benesse Corp, just like it had in 2015.

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The exam consisted of eight tests in five subjects and the robot scored 525 out of 950. The score was 14 points higher than last year, but the robot received an overall standard deviation score of 57.1. Since a score of at least 80 per cent is said to be required to be accepted by the University of Tokyo’s liberal arts courses, the robot was far from the required level. However, Torobo-kun’s score meant that it would have had a chance of 80 per cent or higher to get into 1,373 departments in 535 universities throughout Japan.