A marble held up to the sun

Can an AI know when we’ve lost our marbles?

Kosei Saito/Getty

Do computers know what we are thinking? To find out, Google’s artificial intelligence lab DeepMind has created a set of gruelling tests that probe AI’s progress in understanding the world. No AIs have passed the tests yet, but one got extremely close.

The tests examine theory of mind – the ability to reason about another’s beliefs –  and are inspired by classic experiments in psychology. Each test consists of a short paragraph describing a scenario involving people and a few questions for AI to answer about it. …

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