Think like a human

Intelligence – what does it really mean? In the 1800s, it meant that you were good at memorising things, and today intelligence is measured through IQ tests where the average score for humans is 100. Researchers at the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have created a computer programme that can score 150.

IQ tests are based on two types of problems: progressive matrices, which test the ability to see patterns in pictures, and number sequences, which test the ability to see patterns in numbers. The most common math computer programmes score below 100 on IQ tests with number sequences. For Claes Strannegård, researcher at the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, this was a reason to try to design ‘smarter’ computer programmes.

The research group, which consists of Claes Strannegård, Fredrik Engström, Rahim Nizamani and three students working on their degree projects, believes that number sequence problems are only partly a matter of mathematics – psychology is important too.

The group is therefore using a psychological model of human patterns in their computer programmes. They have integrated a mathematical model that models human-like problem solving. The programme that solves progressive matrices scores IQ 100 and has the unique ability of being able to solve the problems without having access to any response alternatives. The group has improved the programme that specialises in number sequences to the point where it is now able to ace the tests, implying an IQ of at least 150.

The research group has recently started collaborating with the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University, with a goal to develop new IQ tests with different levels of difficulty.

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