20 Questions

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Steve Bryant » 11/08/05 10:44 AM

I've been playing this week with an amazing little toy called 20Q (available at Target and elsewhere for $10). You think of a common object, the device asks you yes-no-sometimes questions, and it ultimately guesses what you are thinking of. This sounds mundane, but the artificial intelligence program it uses is sensational, and when it guesses your object seemingly out of the blue, with the questions not even coming close (or so it seems), you will feel elation bordering on having witnessed real mind reading. (Gaffing one of these things could really blow people away!) You can also find and play this on line, but doing it with this little device in your hand is much more fun.
User avatar
Steve Bryant
 
Posts: 1667
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby Doug Dyment » 11/08/05 12:52 PM

The official site for the marketed version is here ; another (unaffiliated) version can be found here .

... Doug
... Doug :: Proprietor of The Deceptionary
Doug Dyment
 
Posts: 107
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Francisco, California

Postby David Alexander » 11/09/05 01:54 PM

Played this on line....one ordinary item took 28 questions and another 32 where the program finally gave up.

The items were ordinary and everyday, but the AI program was not good at determining what they were.
David Alexander
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Aurora IL

Postby Steve Bryant » 11/09/05 02:13 PM

The device doesn't always get things right either, but when it does, it's astonishing.

Sometimes (mostly?) your answers can throw it off. I was going for dictionary, but made the mistake of saying Yes to Is it flat? (It wound up guessing Newspaper.)

Yesterday I saw the device do amazing hits, with all different people playing, for computer keyboard, baseball cap, contact lens, the sun, and soda straw. On the other hand, I was not able to get it to recognize Top Hat. (And I very likely screwed up when it asked, Are there any songs about it? and I answered No. There are, of course, songs about top hats.)
User avatar
Steve Bryant
 
Posts: 1667
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby Steve Hook » 11/09/05 05:06 PM

1) Notice that your choices change from Yes or No to add Sometimes and Maybe.

2) Try "clock radio".

3) Try "deck of cards".

4) I love this product! I just spent five hours playing with it.

Ok, it was fifteen minutes, but it was a fun fifteen minutes.
Steve Hook
 
Posts: 764
Joined: 10/21/08 11:50 AM
Location: North Carolina, USA

Postby Guest » 01/17/06 09:10 PM

When I did it I thought of electron, and it got it right! It has also got Dart Board but it can't seem to get banana.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 01/18/06 06:00 AM

Originally posted by David Alexander:
Played this on line....one ordinary item took 28 questions and another 32 where the program finally gave up.

The items were ordinary and everyday, but the AI program was not good at determining what they were.
Well, they are looking at "modern" items David... at your age I'm cetain you can think of "common items" from your childhood that would stump just about anyone... :D
Guest
 

Postby David Alexander » 01/19/06 12:58 AM

whippersnapper!
David Alexander
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Aurora IL


Return to Mentalism & Mental Magic