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Are Deep Neural Networks SMARTer Than Second Graders?

Anoop Cherian · Kuan-Chuan Peng · Suhas Lohit · Kevin A. Smith · Joshua B. Tenenbaum

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 248


Recent times have witnessed an increasing number of applications of deep neural networks towards solving tasks that require superior cognitive abilities, e.g., playing Go, generating art, question answering (such as ChatGPT), etc. Such a dramatic progress raises the question: how generalizable are neural networks in solving problems that demand broad skills? To answer this question, we propose SMART: a Simple Multimodal Algorithmic Reasoning Task and the associated SMART-101 dataset, for evaluating the abstraction, deduction, and generalization abilities of neural networks in solving visuo-linguistic puzzles designed specifically for children in the 6--8 age group. Our dataset consists of 101 unique puzzles; each puzzle comprises a picture and a question, and their solution needs a mix of several elementary skills, including arithmetic, algebra, and spatial reasoning, among others. To scale our dataset towards training deep neural networks, we programmatically generate entirely new instances for each puzzle while retaining their solution algorithm. To benchmark the performance on the SMART-101 dataset, we propose a vision-and-language meta-learning model that can incorporate varied state-of-the-art neural backbones. Our experiments reveal that while powerful deep models offer reasonable performances on puzzles in a supervised setting, they are not better than random accuracy when analyzed for generalization -- filling this gap may demand new multimodal learning approaches.

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