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English>>People's Daily Online Exclusives

China-made robot to sit for college entrance examination

(People's Daily Online)    13:44, May 05, 2016

A robot manufactured by a Chengdu-based artificial intelligence (AI) development company in southeast China will take the local college entrance examination in 2017.

The robot is equipped with three independent AI programs for mathematics, Chinese and an integrated test in liberal arts that includes history, politics and geography. Referred to as the CEE (College Entrance Examination) robot, it is the project of the National High-Tech R&D Program (863 Program) of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST).

According to Lin Hui, CEO of the AI company, a separate and fully enclosed room, as well as invigilators and notaries, will be on site when the robot sits for the exam next year. As soon as the test starts, the CEE robot will receive a digital version of the examination paper. A printer will be connected to the robot, but no Internet access will be allowed. The robot must finish the test using only its pre-installed AI programs within the same time period as other students.

The robot’s score on the exam will not be included in the exam rankings for 2017. However, the goal is for the robot to score high enough to technically be eligible for first-tier universities in China.

For the CEE robot, the most challenging parts will be the open questions and article writing. Lin explained that AI writing technology is becoming more sophisticated in both China and abroad. In Silicon Valley, there are robots that can write financial news after being given only a few key words.

“Since original perspective and in-depth analysis are not major evaluation points for article writing, the CEE robot may not lose a lot of points in that area,” explained Lin.

Fu Hongguang, a chief researcher for the mathematics program, believes that the key to conquering the test is language interpretation and deduction. The CEE robot needs to build up its database through deduction, rather than by storing previous tests.

For example, to figure out how many chickens and rabbits are in a cage based on the total number of feet in the cage, the robot has to know how many legs a chicken or a rabbit has.

“The CEE robot is actually a touchstone for AI development in China. I am confident that it will score high enough for a first-tier university,” said Fu. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Hongyu,Bianji)

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