Ever wondered how smart these virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana or Google Home really are? We know, as useful and helpful as they can be, sometimes they can still be pretty dumb, struggling with basic commands and often misinterpreting our intentions.
We get it, HAL 9000 they're not. We sometimes question if they really deserve the "smart assistant" tag they currently have. Maybe a few years down the road perhaps?
Well, one academic research team sought to find out what kind of IQ levels the Siris and the Cortanas and the Google Homes of the world have. Are these virtual assistants any smarter than a 5th grader?
Artificial Intelligence IQ
A research study conducted by three Chinese researchers, namely Feng Liu, Yong Shi, Ying Liu, aimed to explore the potential threats we are facing with the rise of artificial intelligence systems.
Using a proposed "intelligence model" that expands on standard human IQ tests to include AI systems, they attempted to measure the smarts of various virtual assistants like Apple's Siri, Google Home, Microsoft Bing and the Chinese search engine Baidu.
So who's the smartest of them all?
Who's the smartest (and the dumbest)?
According to the paper, Google's AI system is still significantly smarter than Apple's Siri, Microsoft Bing, and Baidu (sorry, Alexa was not tested yet).
In 2016, Google's AI (including Google Home) had an IQ of 47.28, outsmarting Baidu at 32.92 and Bing at 31.98. Apple's Siri surprisingly came in last place with an IQ of 23.94.
In human terms, this means all of these virtual assistants, even Google's, still have IQs that are less than that of a 6-year-old at 55.55.
In contrast, an average 18-year-old has an IQ of 97, almost doubling that of Google's AI. I guess we don't have anything to fear about our robot overlords taking over the world ...yet.
They're getting smarter
The thing is, they are rapidly getting smarter. In just two years, Both Google's and Microsoft Bing's IQ scores nearly doubled. In 2014, Google only managed to get a 26.5 score while Bing was at a virtually brain-dead 13.5. (Baidu and Siri weren't tested in 2014).
“The results so far indicate that the artificial intelligence systems produced by Google, Baidu, and others have significantly improved over the past two years but still have certain gaps as compared with even a six-year-old child,” the paper stated.
At this rate and with all the money that's being thrown at AI development teams like Google's own DeepMind, we won't be surprised if these virtual assistants will finally be at least as smart as a teenager in our near future and maybe, just maybe, sneak out of the backdoor for a late night rendezvous with their other AI friends. You just never know.
How to stop your devices from listening to (and saving) everything you say
You probably know by now that virtual assistant services like Siri, Alexa and Google Home can record and save some of your commands. Harrowing thought, right? There's a way to stop them.