By Maitreyi Mantha
Since 2013, Torobo, a robotic arm designed to test the limits of artificial intelligence, has had one aspiration — to be admitted to the University of Tokyo, one of Asia’s top-ranked educational institutions. However, despite having an extensive database of textbooks and other teaching materials to draw upon, Torobo (short for Todai Robot) has repeatedly failed to obtain the university’s required minimum 80% score in the National Center Test, a standardized entrance examination adopted by Japanese universities. This year was no exception.
In early November, Torobo, along with millions of Japanese high school students, took a mock exam to prepare for the all-important standardized test. Created by education publishing company, Benesse Corp., it comprised eight tests in five subjects. While Torobo’s overall score of 525 out of 950 was 14 points higher than in 2015, its standard score of 57.1% was slightly lower, because human students did better in the 2016 test.
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