20 Questions

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.
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Steve Bryant
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20 Questions

Postby Steve Bryant » November 8th, 2005, 9:44 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.

Doug Dyment
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Re: 20 Questions

Postby Doug Dyment » November 8th, 2005, 11:52 am

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

... Doug
... Doug :: Proprietor of The Deceptionary

David Alexander
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Re: 20 Questions

Postby David Alexander » November 9th, 2005, 12:54 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.

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Steve Bryant
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Re: 20 Questions

Postby Steve Bryant » November 9th, 2005, 1:13 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.)

Steve Hook
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Re: 20 Questions

Postby Steve Hook » November 9th, 2005, 4:06 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.

Guest

Re: 20 Questions

Postby Guest » January 17th, 2006, 8:10 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.

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Re: 20 Questions

Postby Guest » January 18th, 2006, 5:00 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

David Alexander
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Re: 20 Questions

Postby David Alexander » January 18th, 2006, 11:58 pm

whippersnapper!


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