? Maarten van Roozen | Main | Brain in a dish ?

November 09, 2004


20Q.net is an AI that can supposedly guess any object you are thinking of with twenty questions. My object was a Welsh flag. It did not quite get to the Welsh part but it did guess it was a flag by question 19 even though the program believed I was wrong to say flags are not straight and would not be found in an office. Impressive.

20Q.net is an experiment in artificial intelligence. The program is very simple but its behavior is complex. Everything that it knows and all questions that it asks were entered by people playing this game. 20Q.net is a learning system; the more it is played, the smarter it gets.

I tried again with a dragon. The AI got that one by question 11. Seriously impressive.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at November 9, 2004 06:21 AM

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It had trouble with a Sepoy...

Posted by: -keith in mtn. view at November 9, 2004 11:26 AM


After thirty questions, it gives up and says "You win!" It then kvetches:

You were thinking of a bottle of beer.
Could you send it in the mail? You said Yes, I say No.
Is it hard? You said Yes, I say No.
Is it round? You said Partly, I say No.
Is it shiny? You said Yes, I say No.
Does it bring joy to people? You said Depends, I say Yes.
Do you love it? You said No, I say Yes.

Can't send it in the mail? Must be one of the alc*l monopoly places. Besides which, how would they know?

If you don't think a beer bottle is hard, may I caress your skull with one?

It's round in one direction but not the other. That's "partly," no?

Glass is shiny. It's one of its charms.

Clearly the programmer has never met a morose drunk, like my mother's first cousin Pud.

I like beer a lot. Love I reserve for animates...

Ric Locke

Posted by: Ric Locke at November 9, 2004 11:38 PM

I was quite impressed. I picked ski pole and it was up to question 18 and was asking if it was made of plastic. I figured it was completely lost and hadn't a clue. Then the next question was Is it a ski pole? I fell right off my chair.

I fooled it with a protractor though...

Posted by: Bruce Gottfred at November 10, 2004 02:37 PM