Google, Siri, Bing, sit an IQ test – only one’s a brain box
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Google, Siri, Bing, sit an IQ test – only one’s a brain box

IQ tests are controversial amongst the public, but intelligence researchers consider them to be reliable tools for gauging cognitive abilities. With that in mind, it was only a matter of time before someone used them to assess the capabilities of internet search engines like Google, Siri, and Bing. The results may not be surprising, but they are certainly informative: Google, compared to its peers, is an intellect of Einsteinian proportions.

Google’s big brain has helped its share price appreciate by 22%, YTD


SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Based on tests carried out in 2016, Google has an IQ of 47.28. This compares very favourably with Siri’s 23.9, Bing’s 31.98, and even Chinese market leader Baidu’s 32.92. But it probably doesn’t look too impressive measured against your own: the average adult has an IQ of 100, and Google’s IQ is slightly less than a six year olds. However, the difference between the search engines is significant.

Google’s IQ is twice that of Siri’s. To put that in perspective, celebrated Cambridge astrophysicist Professor Stephen Hawking has an IQ twice that of a person psychologists might call “borderline, low average” intelligence (160 and 80, respectively).

However, researchers Feng Liu, Yong Shi, and Ying Liu, were clear to put the overall cognitive capacity of artificial intelligence (AI) in perspective. Using DeepMind’s Alpha Go as an example of what is usually considered one of the world’s most advanced AIs, they wrote:

"If humans did not provide help to the program, and AlphaGo could obtain Go chess data on its own initiative, self-program, and simulate game contests to gain experience for changing its training model to win games in real contests, it might be more defensible to say that AlphaGo could innovate. However, as AlphaGo does not appear capable of such a development process, from a comprehensive point of view its intelligence rating is of the third grade, which is two grades lower than that of humans."

Nonetheless, no one can deny that, at present, Google’s search engine is head and shoulders above the competition – which, frankly, is exactly what one would expect from the market leader.


Dominion holds Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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