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So I assume this is an April Fools? Not sure, and I hate expanding efforts on filtering April Fools.

Tried the game, it's nice. Got 1 point on my first try, somehow managed 15 points on the second. I don't think a baby would get any points, so I'll go with April Fools.




If it is an April fool, then it is not entirely off the mark as satire. It isn't uncommon to see reviews of apps like Dragonbox and Slice Fractions where bloggers claim "my 5 year old can do algebra"[] or "my 3 year old can do fractions".

[] My son could play Dragonbox when he was 3, so I am not knocking the game, but I am skeptical it will be of much use when he does algebra in school.


My 5-year old daughter played through Dragonbox pretty quickly and afterward I went through some concepts with her like x/x = 1 or 1x = x.

When shown to her using fractions of a drawn circle or simple multiplication of real objects, she seemed to understand the concept in the abstract.

However, once I introduced something like ayx/yx = a, it seemed to trip her up, even though the motions in Dragonbox made sense to her.

That said, I'm not sure I understood why x/x = 1 until much after 5 years old, so maybe there's something to be said about going through the motions of computation before truly understanding the general concept.


The domain the interview is on (scientificworldnews.org) was created March 27, 2014 and is owned by Q42, the makers of the game.


At 0:32 in the video of the child playing, the rockets line up before the target number is visible on the screen.


Perhaps the child figured out the PRNG.


I'm betting it isn't actually.


The best are a bit in between.

The thing is, this isn't that difficult of a task. The disadvantage adults have in a task like this is, I believe without scientific evidence, the learned helplessness that so many adults have, probably induced from years of "education". A three year old flips through an iPad interface because nobody even thought to tell them it was hard; an adult that can't pick that up probably can't pick it up because they believe they can't pick it up.

In this case, there's 16 whole patterns to learn, and the patterns themselves are highly patterned so it's even easier than that. It's well within what a very young child can do. It's far easier than walking or speaking in sentences, those tasks that many two years olds already do better than our best AIs. (Yes, 2/3 year olds have characteristic grammar failures typical to the age... but then again, our best general-purpose AIs still botch things up too...)

Whether it's a faked video or not, I don't know or care... I see no reason to believe that a certain set of 2 years olds could do this, that a much larger set of 3 year olds could do this, and the vast majority of 4 year olds could do this, as long as they can concentrate for long enough. Indeed I would expect them to find this a boring task relatively quickly, because it's not that challenging.


Fully agree with jerf on that, adults not only have the mental barrier, but also their mental adaptivity ratio is lower than that of kids. I am not sure, if it's just the neural plasticity that's reason for this or the amount of neural circuitry's rewiring that is necessary at a higher age, due to more synaptic connections.

I mean chinese parents who teach their kids to learn many languages, maths etc. at age 1 and up may be cruel, but if they actually don't force the kids, but let them have fun and let them do those tasks voluntarily, then I fully support the early education method.




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