Add one more to my list of science fiction technologies under development in the real world – Artificial Intelligence.

Crystal Huff reports —

My company, Luminoso, is in the news this week for having created an artificial intelligence that is “about as smart as a 4-year-old” on an IQ test. Of course, the public version of Concept Net is the previous release, and we think the proprietary Luminoso software is much smarter (hey, it’s using ConceptNet 5, for starters).

When ConceptNet 4 was given the Weschsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intellgence Test, an IQ test for children, the results showed it had the IQ of a four-year-old.

ConceptNet is described as a –

a semantic network containing lots of things computers should know about the world, especially when understanding text written by people.

It is built from nodes representing concepts, in the form of words or short phrases of natural language, and labeled relationships between them. These are the kinds of things computers need to know to search for information better, answer questions, and understand people’s goals. If you wanted to build your own Watson, this should be a good place to start!

According to University of Chicago at Illinois News Center, the test results in different categories varied widely:

“If a child had scores that varied this much, it might be a symptom that something was wrong,” Professor Robert Sloan, lead author on the study, explained in the report.

While the AI sailed through the vocabulary aspect of the test, it stumbled on comprehension — the so-called ‘why’ questions.

“One of the hardest problems in building an artificial intelligence is devising a computer program that can make sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts — the dictionary definition of commonsense,” Sloan explained.

Crystal Huff says she’s putting the “smart-as-a-4-year-old” software to work analyzing historical Arisia convention feedback forms. Which reminds me of the famous quote uttered by a convention chair when asked the directions to babysitting — “That child don’t need a babysitter – he needs a job!”