Join 3,557 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


What am I thinking?
February 28, 2003 12:04 AM   Subscribe

What am I thinking? A computer asks you twenty questions, and tries to guess what you are thinking about. Can you stump the computer?
posted by patrickje (117 comments total)

 
I stumped it with "eraser".
posted by TheIrreverend at 12:30 AM on February 28, 2003


I was pretty impressed it guessed that I was thinking of bubble wrap!
posted by Phatty Lumpkin at 12:33 AM on February 28, 2003


I stumped it with "MetaFilter." (actually, it could have been any web-site, but what other site would I have had immediately on the brain.)
posted by eyeballkid at 12:34 AM on February 28, 2003


Wowee. It got anvil, water pistol, and eraser for me.
posted by Slimemonster at 12:37 AM on February 28, 2003


It figured out planet under 20 questions and laptop under 16.
posted by phyrewerx at 12:43 AM on February 28, 2003


It surprised me when it got galaxy and then it guessed beer.

They should try and mod it to pass the Turing Test.
posted by jdaura at 12:50 AM on February 28, 2003


I was thinking of 'Disneyland' and it didn't get it. The computer then attempted to get into an existential argument with me about amusement parks:

You were thinking of an amusement park.
Does it get wet? you said Rarely, I say Yes
Can you put something into it? you said Doubtful, I say Yes
Is it heavy? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
Can you switch it on and off? you said No, I say Yes
Can you play with it? you said Depends, I say Yes
Is it flat? you said Partly, I say No
Do you open and close it? you said No, I say Yes
posted by skylar at 12:50 AM on February 28, 2003


It guessed shoelace in nineteen, even though we differed on two of the answers I gave. It couldn't guess vagina though, coming close with womb and urethra - maybe it doesn't do sex organs.
posted by misteraitch at 12:52 AM on February 28, 2003


You were thinking of bunk beds.

Do most people use this daily? you said No, I say Yes
Is it something you can purchase? you said Yes, I say Doubtful
Is it made of metal? you said No, I say Probably
Can it be stolen? you said Doubtful, I say Yes
Can you put something into it? you said No, I say Yes
Can it be used for recreation? you said Yes, I say No
Is it flat? you said Yes, I say No
Is it an absolute state? you said Yes, I say No


Oh, sure, it's my fault you can't read my mind.
posted by boltman at 12:52 AM on February 28, 2003


(I was impressed when it got "light" in under 20 though)
posted by boltman at 12:56 AM on February 28, 2003


It got "booger" in under twenty, but went over on "library card." and "cockatoo."
posted by jfwlucy at 12:58 AM on February 28, 2003


I thought anteater; it guessed aardvark. Pretty darn close.
posted by samuelad at 1:00 AM on February 28, 2003


It got oxygen (but thought it fit in an envelope), CD, and UFO. It thinks UFO's can be washed. How the heck does it know?

BTW, it isn't supposed to be able to figure out specific instances, such as 'Metafilter', or 'Disneyland'.

It doesn't seem to know 'blog'. It guessed 'programming language', 'chat-room', and 'e-mail', along the way.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:01 AM on February 28, 2003


It had no idea about tardigrades (waterbears). But it also had me stumped: I had to google some good information on the wee beasties so that I could answer its questions.

Nifty little critters, they are. Didja know they have sex? They have a real brain, but they don't have a respiratory or circulatory system. They're found in marine, freshwater, and land environments, and there are a umpteen species.

I'm gonna have to go hunting this spring, see if I can find me one.

(Toughest question: "Do they bring joy to people?" Er, reading about them certainly cheered me up. Does that count?)
posted by five fresh fish at 1:05 AM on February 28, 2003


i believe the design of this site is not to show how a computer can think like us, but rather, how we can be trained to think like the computer.
posted by cachilders at 1:05 AM on February 28, 2003


29 questions later, including two "close" guesses of "potato chip" (after which it went weird and, after a few more questions, guessed that it was a dart(!!)) and "pretzel" (immediately next-guessing that it was a granola bar(?)).

"You were thinking of a tortilla chip.
You said it is classified as Vegetable, I say Other
Is it brown? you said Yes, I say No
Does it have a hard outer shell? you said No, I say Yes
Could it be found in a classroom? you said No, I say Yes
Is it a common household object? you said No, I say Yes"

Er:
no, sometimes, no, probably not, no. Who the heck said tortilla chips have a hard "outer shell"?!

Its database can only be as good as the responses people give. Someone's been lying to it!
posted by five fresh fish at 1:14 AM on February 28, 2003


It got black hole in 27, but with 4 "wrong" on my part. They would fit in an envelope, wouldn't they?
posted by boltman at 1:15 AM on February 28, 2003


Stumped it with a "satellite"
posted by riffola at 1:18 AM on February 28, 2003


It guessed "gin." It even got the correct type of liquor that I was thinking of. Creepy.
posted by password at 1:19 AM on February 28, 2003


Someone lied to it about tamales too!
posted by vacapinta at 1:20 AM on February 28, 2003


oh, and when it guessed 'burrito' and I said Close!, it then guessed 'fur coat'!

burrito? fur coat? Is there something I'm missing?
posted by vacapinta at 1:22 AM on February 28, 2003


It got "headphones" in 17 tries.

Pretty cool.
posted by Uncle Ira at 1:27 AM on February 28, 2003


After asking me if my object was primarily made of water and I said No, it guessed ice cube four turns later.

Otherwise, fascinating. It got vitamin (eventually) and even though I stumped it with pinwheel, it was in their database.
posted by Georgina at 1:40 AM on February 28, 2003


You were thinking of a book.
.............
Is it hard? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes

What is this, Talking Barbie's Internet Savant?
posted by dglynn at 1:44 AM on February 28, 2003


Wow. It got vodka in 29, after easel and lemonade!

Thanks, Patrick - gives a whole new meaning to "narrowing down".
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:50 AM on February 28, 2003


It got key, knife, credit card, digital camera (not just a camera but a digital one -- that's pretty sharp), chicken, and a couple other ones. It also got camera lens with 29 questions, after first guessing that it was a hand grenade, and cassette tape in 28 (after guessing video tape).

Watching it try to get "penis" was hilarious. "Does it contain a liquid?" "Can it be placed on your head?" "Do you clean it regularly?" "Does it serve a purpose?" "Is it smaller than a loaf of bread?" Eventually it said "It has something to do with sex" and refused to go any further.
posted by kindall at 1:50 AM on February 28, 2003


I stumped it. After 29 guesses it gave up.

On the 30th page, it told me I won, and then it gave me a list of things from which to choose, and a textbox to enter what I was thinking.

I was thinking of a temple.
posted by bwg at 1:52 AM on February 28, 2003


Does your mother know what you are thinking about?
I am not allowed to talk about stuff like this, but,
I am guessing that it has something to do with sex?

Would you find it in an office? you said Unknown, I say No
Is it flexible? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
Does it grow over time? you said Yes, I say No
Does it require specific knowledge to use it? you said Yes, I say No

The password was ding "orgasm". I got "Computer won, but asked too many questions."
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:58 AM on February 28, 2003


It could not guess bamboo.
posted by bargle at 2:14 AM on February 28, 2003


you said Yes, I say No
You're wrong. No you're wrong!

I chose pita, it guessed pancake.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:19 AM on February 28, 2003


It seems to think a sock is "animal" (this was when it was failing to guess "penis" -- it offered "womb" & "urethra", like misteraitch).

And in another question sequence (I was thinking of "rifle"), it first asked me whether it was bigger than a breadbox (yes), and later asked whether it was smaller than a loaf of bread. Still got it, though.

But I'm amazed. It got "website", "submarine" & "light bulb" for me too. And the bickering at the end is fun.

I'd love to see some stats on its knowedge base. I'd also love to see a breakdown of the things people try on it.
posted by infravires at 2:24 AM on February 28, 2003


It didn't guess moisturiser, but guessed honey and milk which are possible ingredients of moisturiser. Nice link to do be a spot of time wasting heheh.
posted by lunadust at 2:35 AM on February 28, 2003


It had to think hard about the double meaning of "does it roll", and then asked me twice whether it was green, but it got me in the end on question twenty. A very clever program. Do not give one to the DEA, or it will all end up like a cross between a scanner darkly and blade runner in reverse.
posted by walrus at 2:35 AM on February 28, 2003


An anchor:

Is it lifeless? you said Yes, I say No

Living anchors? Well, it did get it, but asked too many questions.
posted by rusty at 2:38 AM on February 28, 2003


a few tests show it's pretty much bound to go over 20 on anything incorporeal.
posted by juv3nal at 2:51 AM on February 28, 2003


I stumped it with water heater and religious icon (though we had a few 'heated' words about whether a water heater ever makes noise; mine certainly does!), but it got "snowflake" in 16 guesses (I wonder if this is because others here were inspired, as I was, by the current snowflake post?). On "religious icon" it just couldn't cope at all, though it did guess "stained glass window" which was pretty durn close...
posted by taz at 2:53 AM on February 28, 2003


It asked me if my 'wok' weighed more than a duck.

Why do the machines always mock me?
posted by Frasermoo at 3:01 AM on February 28, 2003


erm... It's suddenly started asking more questions... or is that just because I'm on mineral?
posted by twine42 at 3:06 AM on February 28, 2003


Uranium... it guessed Plutonium, which was pretty damned good going... Keeps asking me to compare it's size to things though.

Finally got it after 28 questions, finishing with "is it worth a lot of money". Odd.

Does it burn? you said No, I say Probably
Does it shine? you said Maybe, I say No
Is it smaller than a loaf of bread? you said Depends, I say Yes
Is it something you can purchase? you said Yes, I say No
Is it made of metal? you said Yes, I say No
Does it weigh more than a duck? you said Depends, I say Yes


Uranium doesn't burn, I didn't think it shone, it's size depends on how big a bit you have, you can purchase it, and I thought uranium was a metal... ah well...
posted by twine42 at 3:13 AM on February 28, 2003


Assuming Sellotape is Scotch TApe in the US, it gets that in 14 goes with no arguments...
posted by twine42 at 3:15 AM on February 28, 2003


Well, it got 'black hole'

13. Is it round? Yes.
12. Does it contain a liquid? No.
11. Does it produce light? No.
10. Was it used over 100 years ago? Yes.
9. Can you put something into it? Yes.
8. Is it larger than a country? Yes.
7. Would you find it in an office? No.
6. Does it get wet? No.
5. Does it make sound? No.
4. Can it cheer you up? No.
3. Can you lift it? No.
2. Can you buy it? No.
1. Is it smaller than a loaf of bread? No.
It is classified as Unknown.
posted by Resonance at 3:36 AM on February 28, 2003


I thought about "tea" and it took 28 questions.

When it showed the list of answers it disagreed with, I must take issue with one answer -- It asked if I knew a song about it, I said yes, it said no.

What? It doesn't know "Tea for Two"? Stupid computer.
posted by meep at 3:39 AM on February 28, 2003


I tried "a mother" twice. No luck. However, it nailed a surprising number of other ones.
posted by RavinDave at 4:00 AM on February 28, 2003


i hate AI. i found myself screaming in front of the screen.
posted by Sijeka at 4:01 AM on February 28, 2003


Bah. Stumped it easily with "banana".

Bananas are fruits, not vegetables. You silly machine.
posted by spazzm at 4:17 AM on February 28, 2003


"Is is heavier than a pound of butter?"

Hehhhe .. why not just "Does it weigh more than a pound?"
posted by RavinDave at 4:27 AM on February 28, 2003


Wow. "Tobacco" in nine freakin' questions.
posted by alumshubby at 4:29 AM on February 28, 2003


Does it learn from the answers we give it? If three people say that there isn't a song about tea but one person says there is, does it change the probability?
posted by skylar at 4:32 AM on February 28, 2003


I stumped it with yoghurt. And now I'm hungry.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:38 AM on February 28, 2003


It did not guess "absinthe."
posted by hot soup girl at 4:58 AM on February 28, 2003


Pretty cool .... but what's really funny (or predictable?) is the number of comments relating to arguing with the damn thing
posted by ElvisJesus at 5:04 AM on February 28, 2003


It didn't get guacamole, but I guess I answered a bunch of questions wrong, ha ha.

You were thinking of guacamole.
You said it is classified as Other, I say Vegetable
Could it be found in a classroom? you said Maybe, I say No
Is it smaller than a loaf of bread? you said Probably, I say Doubtful
Can it fit in an envelope? you said No, I say Yes
Is it multicolored? you said No, I say Yes
Can you put something into it? you said Yes, I say Doubtful
Does it contain a liquid? you said Partly, I say No

Who puts guacamole into an envelope? And you can totally put something into it, like a tortilla chip.
posted by elvissinatra at 5:12 AM on February 28, 2003


Pretty cool .... but what's really funny (or predictable?) is the number of comments relating to arguing with the damn thing

You said comments related to arguing with the damn thing are funny. I say No.
posted by taz at 5:17 AM on February 28, 2003


It guesses carrot pretty easy, but took 19 questions to guess coffee.
posted by adampsyche at 5:18 AM on February 28, 2003


adampsyche *rofl*

Hang on a minute... It's Friday. This is Fun. Where's the flash, dagnamit?!?

Who's got the URL for the dictator/sitcom character thingie? People argue with that a lot less often. ;)
posted by twine42 at 5:22 AM on February 28, 2003


damn... make that taz, not adam. oops.
posted by twine42 at 5:23 AM on February 28, 2003


Here it is...
posted by twine42 at 5:25 AM on February 28, 2003


Had some trouble with "pancake" - 28 guesses - but then I had some trouble with "pancake" too. Maybe it's not a vegetable, but it's made from vegetable matter. And since when do pancakes not "roll"? I love to roll them up with some lemon and sugar!

It got "guitar" in 20 guesses, though.
posted by Jimbob at 5:27 AM on February 28, 2003


Took 29 guesses to get 'football helmet', after one somewhat close guess of mask.

Does it weigh more than a duck? you said No, I say Probably
Is it usually colorful? you said Depends, I say Yes
Do you hold it when you use it? you said Sometimes, I say No
Does it have writing on it? you said Depends, I say Yes


How am I supposed to know what a duck weighs? I mean, seriously....
posted by JaxJaggywires at 5:36 AM on February 28, 2003


You were thinking of wax.
Is it hard? you said Unknown, I say No
Is it smaller than a loaf of bread? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
Is it heavier than a pound of butter? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
Do you use it at work? you said Yes, I say No
Can it be washed? you said Yes, I say No
Does it go inside other things? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
Does it roll? you said Probably, I say No
posted by Fat Elvis at 5:39 AM on February 28, 2003


My thought computer, why can't I open the link? I've been trying since 6:30am, 6 times now.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:40 AM on February 28, 2003


Had some trouble with "pancake" - 28 guesses

but it got waffle in 19. time for breakfast!
posted by birdherder at 5:51 AM on February 28, 2003


You were thinking of a monkey.
Is it small? you said Yes, I say Doubtful
Huh? Well, I guess it's bigger than a computer...

Is it a herbivore? you said No, I say Yes
It eats bugs and things

Is it dangerous? you said Probably, I say No
Would YOU pick up a wild howler monkey?

Does it live near water? you said Unknown, I say No
Monkeys get thirsty, right?

Is it larger than a microwave oven(or bread box)? you said No, I say Yes
Big fat monkeys...

Can you buy it? you said Doubtful, I say Yes
Oh my god - I'm going to go check E-Bay!

Is it multicolored? you said Yes, I say No
?

Is it involved in movies? you said Unknown, I say Yes
I'd like to see a movie starring a Howler monkey. :-)

Is it fluffy? you said Probably, I say No
What? It's a MONKEY

Well the computer had some trouble with that one. It's the eternal struggle... Monkey vs. Robot
posted by Stuart_R at 5:54 AM on February 28, 2003


"How am I supposed to know what a duck weighs? I mean, seriously...." JaxJaggywires

VILLAGER #1: If... she... weighs... the same as a duck,... she's made of wood.
SIR BEDEVERE: And therefore?
VILLAGER #2: A witch!
posted by Stuart_R at 6:01 AM on February 28, 2003


You were thinking of a laptop computer.
Is it black? you said No, I say Yes.

My iBook is white. Stupid computer.
posted by rocketman at 6:01 AM on February 28, 2003


you said Yes, I say No

you say stop, but I say go go go...
posted by Vidiot at 6:08 AM on February 28, 2003


This is just stupid: Does it weigh more than a pound of butter?


Anyway -- I completely stumped it with "screen."
posted by yesster at 6:14 AM on February 28, 2003


I was thinking of a beer. It tried, but got confused and then spoke more and more slowly and then fell over. I know the feeling.
posted by squealy at 6:33 AM on February 28, 2003


Cute. I wrote this very same thing in Basic, oh say about 20 years ago, anyone else? Albeit on a much smaller scale.
posted by jdiaz at 6:49 AM on February 28, 2003


It would be nice if it doesn't come up with the object you're thinking of you could see if the object is in it's database. I think many items won't be found due to incorrect user response (note that it found eraser for Slimemonster but not for TheIrreverend.

I tried for "newspaper" had to give up after 24+ questions when the response time became ludicrous (possibly due to too many users, possibly due to it's searching algorithm.)

I'll play with this cool toy later.
posted by DBAPaul at 7:00 AM on February 28, 2003


I was thinking "traffic cone." It got it on the first question.

Lucky guess.
posted by sixpack at 7:13 AM on February 28, 2003


Stumped it with "kite."

All of the answers we disagreed on were things I can demonstrably prove I was right about, but the one that most surprised me was the song question...in a similar vein to "Tea For Two," who the hell doesn't know "Let's Go Fly A Kite" from Mary Poppins?
posted by jburka at 7:23 AM on February 28, 2003


i'm at 28 questions with this thing now and can't be bothered waiting to see how long it takes to guess "snare drum".
posted by t r a c y at 8:05 AM on February 28, 2003


It couldn't get autogyro....it guessed limousine
posted by thewittyname at 8:14 AM on February 28, 2003


I stumped it with "guitar." It guessed mandolin, cello, bass, and violin, but never guitar. Odd.

Oh yes, and Vidiot? I now have Beatles stuck in my head. Thanks. "You say goodbye, and I say hello..."

Argh.
posted by Jughead at 8:52 AM on February 28, 2003


Jughead:

I used "guitar" too, and it got it in 18 questions.

There were a few questionable answers of mine..but it got it, on seemingly little data.

It asked "does it have a hole?" to which I answered yes. (acoustics anyway!)
posted by Adam_S at 9:19 AM on February 28, 2003


My pleasure, Jughead. It's quite an earworm.

Shall I start humming "Tom's Diner"?
posted by Vidiot at 9:50 AM on February 28, 2003


You were thinking of guacamole.
You said it is classified as Other, I say Vegetable
Could it be found in a classroom? you said Maybe, I say No


Look, computer, if my tortilla chips are found in a classroom, then the damn guacamole better be there, too.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:08 AM on February 28, 2003


Vidiot: the original or the remix? Used to love it when it was just a little throw-away song on her album, then it got sampled into mass consumption and ruined it for me. Doesn't matter, now I can't get it out of my head...
posted by widdershins at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2003


I like that it asked "is it heaver than a pound of butter"?

How about a pound of feathers? Or a pound of iron?
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:54 AM on February 28, 2003


It got Tulip on first try after 19 questions - amazing me because it got the exact flower I was thinking of.

You were thinking of a tulip.
Do you know any songs about it? you said Yes, I say No (tiptoe thru the tulips?)
Is it something you bring along? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
Is it green? you said Partly, I say No
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:57 AM on February 28, 2003


Hmm - key difference here would be whether you can use an aura. I say no.

You were thinking of an aura.

You said it is classified as Unknown, I say Other
Does it help accomplish tasks? you said Unknown, I say Doubtful
Would you use it in the dark? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
Can you control it? you said Doubtful, I say Yes
Can it help you find your way? you said Yes, I say No
Does it communicate? you said No, I say Yes
Do you find it in the sky? you said No, I say Probably
Can it cheer you up? you said No, I say Yes
Do you use it at work? you said Irrelevant, I say Probably
Does a hockey player use it? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
Can you get information by using it? you said No, I say Probably
Is it outside? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
posted by widdershins at 11:21 AM on February 28, 2003


It did get rubber ducky, though.
posted by widdershins at 11:22 AM on February 28, 2003


24 questions and counting before I lost the connection. It seemed to be flailing, and I suspect the game could have gone one forever. My word was "meme".
posted by troutfishing at 11:24 AM on February 28, 2003


Finally, some respect for journalism!

You were thinking of a newspaper.
Is it pleasurable? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:31 AM on February 28, 2003


Well, I was surprised at how hard human excrement was for the poor thing to guess. #17, it guessed "anthrax," & then we went on a loopy ride (possibly occasioned by my stating that it is "man made"), & the computer guessed tampon. It took to question #29 to guess "manure," & when I said that was only close, the computer took one more stab (snot) & finally gave up. Maybe I should've answered "irrelevant" to questions about the "use" of the stuff, too, instead of "no."
posted by Zurishaddai at 11:54 AM on February 28, 2003


Stump-ola! with "hubcap."

I, too, got bored with waiting for it to guess, so I didn't get into the virtual recriminations phase.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:54 AM on February 28, 2003


It got tornado at 19. I knew it had me when it asked "does it spin?" It thinks you can't put something in a tornado, I say things get put in tornadoes all the time. Involuntarily maybe, but still.
posted by domino at 12:09 PM on February 28, 2003


I like that it asked "is it heaver than a pound of butter"?

How about a pound of feathers? Or a pound of iron?


Of course, something can be heavier than a pound of gold and lighter than a pound of iron. Note that this statement is illegal if the year is after 1878. :-p
posted by quarantine at 12:10 PM on February 28, 2003


I found this one a few months ago... Pretty sure this is a double post though....89 comments into... a good double post I suppose.
posted by Espoo2 at 12:13 PM on February 28, 2003


It got "crystal ball" disturbingly fast: after about nine not particularly on-target questions, it was its first guess. I almost jumped out of my chair. I can only assume that an awful lot of people have tried that one so it has many paths to it.

It couldn't get "a riot" at all. (And yes, I do know at least one song about it, by The Clash.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:37 PM on February 28, 2003


penguin in 12. woah.
posted by serafinapekkala at 12:47 PM on February 28, 2003


I thought of Black Hole (as did Resonance, apparently :) ) and it guessed it in 16. However:

You were thinking of a black hole.
Is it involved in movies? you said No, I say Yes

Oh, come on. I mean, how many black holes do you see running casting sessions in Hollywood? :)

(I beat it with Dodo, mind you)
posted by kaemaril at 1:28 PM on February 28, 2003


They got rid of: Rarely, Sometimes, Partly, Depends.

All that's left is: Yes , No , Unknown, Irrelevant, Probably, Doubtful.
posted by elvissinatra at 1:42 PM on February 28, 2003


Metafilter: Do you use it at work? you said Irrelevant, I say Probably
posted by dragstroke at 2:04 PM on February 28, 2003


Well, if it likes to use ducks as weight standards...

1. It is classified as Animal.
2. Is it furry? No.
3. Is it small? No.
4. Can it swim? Yes.
5. Can it live out of water? Yes.
6. Is it a reptile? No.
7. Is it a wild animal? No.
8. Can you control it? No.
9. Is it dangerous? Yes.
10. Does it help accomplish tasks? No.
11. Can you find it in a house? Yes.
12. Do you love it? No.
13. Does it contain a lot of water? No.
14. Can it be trained to obey commands? No.
15. Does it have a spine? Yes.
16. Does it bear live young? Yes.
17. Does it live in grass-lands? No.
18. Does it live in the forest? Probably.
19. Is it black? Irrelevant.
I am guessing that it is a witch?


Under twenty questions! I'm impressed! Although its disagreements might be up for argument:

You were thinking of a witch.
Can it swim? you said Yes, I say No
Is it black? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes

posted by DrJohnEvans at 2:08 PM on February 28, 2003


roulette wheel in 28, first guess was hocky. I'm impressed
posted by maceo at 3:19 PM on February 28, 2003


I stumped it with Aikido, though somewhere in the 30's it guessed Karate.

Apparently it's one of the few martial arts to employ electricity. And the computer says I love it already, though I'm going to see a demonstration for the first time this Saturday :P

You were thinking of aikido.
Could it be found in a classroom? you said Yes, I say Doubtful
Is it something you bring along? you said No, I say Yes
Does it use electricity? you said No, I say Yes
Do you use it in your home? you said Rarely, I say Probably
Does it make sound? you said Sometimes, I say Doubtful
Can you play games with it? you said Probably, I say No
Is it hard? you said Yes, I say No
Does it move? you said Yes, I say Doubtful
Do you love it? you said Unknown, I say Yes

posted by Foosnark at 6:13 PM on February 28, 2003


I also stumped it on puppet, but it got shovel on Q18 with a bunch of seemingly un-shovely questions.

Computer wins, but asked too many questions

You were thinking of a driveway.

You said it is classified as Mineral, I say Other
Can you play games with it? you said Probably, I say No
Does it have a tail? you said No, I say Probably
Is it a predator? you said No, I say Probably


A driveway is a predator with a tail, probably? Huh?
posted by astrogirl at 6:26 PM on February 28, 2003


You were thinking of mathematics.
Does it need love? you said No, I say Yes

*chuckle* What do you suppose happens to mathematics if it does not get enough loving?
posted by blue mustard at 6:32 PM on February 28, 2003


You were thinking of software.

Is it smaller than a loaf of bread? you said Irrelevant, I say Yes
Do you use it in public? you said Yes, I say Doubtful
Does it have teeth? you said No, I say Probably


Nevertheless, it got it in 20.
posted by Foosnark at 6:35 PM on February 28, 2003


It got "shoelace end." Shoelace end. Who the hell built this thing, and why?
posted by Pinwheel at 7:15 PM on February 28, 2003


Fer sure. Everyone knows that the end of a shoelace is an aglet.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 PM on February 28, 2003


This is absurdly fascinating. It picked up "radiator" after about 19 questions. It guessed "anvil" after 20 questions on my second try (wrong) and figured out "balance beam" with eight more questions.

Now, of course, I can't stop thinking of words to try next.
posted by swerve at 10:40 PM on February 28, 2003


stumped it with larynx, but it homed right in on my sphincter and appendix.

the way it guessed my lava lamp was spooky.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:00 AM on March 1, 2003


it homed right in on my sphincter and appendix

Ouch.
posted by hot soup girl at 2:18 AM on March 1, 2003


I stumped it with wedding veil (it guessed yarmulke) and bobblehead doll (it guessed figurine).

It didn't guess roller skates, but it guessed roller blades, which was pretty close. Then roller skates was in the suggestion list at the end.

You were thinking of roller skates.
Is it heavy? you said Yes, I say No


Gee. The roller skates I carried to practice four times a week were not exactly lightweight! I would definitely call them heavy.

Does it make noise? you said Maybe, I say No
Is it outside? you said Sometimes, I say Doubtful
Does it have writing on it? you said Maybe, I say No
Does it have a hole in it? you said Yes, I say No
Can it cheer you up? you said Yes, I say Doubtful
Is it considered valuable? you said Sometimes, I say No


This database really does have weird information. My roller skates do have writing on the wheels and the bottom of the boot and plate, they make noise, they can often be used outdoors, they lave lacing holes, they do a fine job of cheering me up, and since they have custom boots, they are valuable. No wonder it couldn't guess them.
posted by litlnemo at 3:09 AM on March 1, 2003


widdershins: Vidiot: the original or the remix? Used to love it when it was just a little throw-away song on her album, then it got sampled into mass consumption and ruined it for me. Doesn't matter, now I can't get it out of my head...

Either/or. I like 'em both but for different reasons. And surprisingly enough, that's the one common earworm that NEVER gets stuck in my head. (Song playing in my head at the moment: "Here Comes A Regular" by the Replacements.)
posted by Vidiot at 4:26 AM on March 1, 2003


Holy shit. It correctly "guessed" that I was thinking of a milkshake.
posted by davidmsc at 6:29 AM on March 1, 2003


what I think is interesting is that it doesn't use the same initial questions (besides animal/vegetable/mineral)...I was playing a game and my computer crashed. Upon rebooting and re-connecting, it asked me different questions this time around. Hmph.

(I tried "space heater", and after first guessing that it was a hand grenade, a capacitor, a dumbbell (huh? I told it that it used electricity), it gave up.)
posted by Vidiot at 8:35 AM on March 1, 2003


ice skates in 17:
20q: Is it used in travel? you said Unknown, I say No
Me: Problematic because of course they have been used for getting from place to place (Scandinavia, the Netherlands, the Rideau Canal).

20q: Does it have writing on it? you said No, I say Yes
Me: litlnemo, we've confused it. I took the test after you told it *roller* skates did have writing.

20q: Would you find it on a farm? you said Unknown, I say No
Me: Farm kids skate on ponds.

You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to.
Interesting that the wording of some of the questions and especially the answer options seem to have changed since Friday.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:46 AM on March 1, 2003


Maybe it's learning. It'll be the OmniMind by next weekend!
posted by five fresh fish at 4:54 PM on March 1, 2003


Wow, I am inpressed

I am guessing that it is a kiwi(bird)?
12. Can it swim? No.
11. Does it make noise? Yes.
10. Is it shaped like a hot dog? No.
9. Does it bite? No.
8. Can it bend without breaking? Irrelevant.
7. Does it live in large populations? No.
Is it a herbivore? Unknown.
6. Does it live in the forest? Yes.
5. Does it fly? No.
4. Does it have teeth? No.
3. Can you buy it at a store? No.
2. Is it small? Yes.
1. It is classified as Animal.
posted by sycophant at 5:04 PM on March 1, 2003


Wow. I was thinking of superman and it got it.

I am guessing that it is a superhero?

19. Does it get wet? Yes.
18. Can it be washed? Irrelevant.
17. Is it worth a lot of money? Irrelevant.
16. Does it contain a liquid? Sometimes.
15. Does it have teeth? Yes.
14. Is it comforting? Yes.
13. Does it make sound? Yes.
12. Can it be painted? No.
11. Is it pleasurable? Irrelevant.
10. Does it shine? No.
9. Was it invented? No.
8. Can you walk on it? No.
7. Can it be stolen? No.
6. Can you control it? No.
5. Is it larger than a microwave oven (or bread box)? Yes.
4. Would you find it in an office? Sometimes.
3. Is it hard? Probably.
2. Is it found on a desk? No.
1. It is classified as Other.

I stumped it with the Earth's core.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 9:45 PM on March 1, 2003


stumped it with postbox.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:06 AM on March 2, 2003


NorthernLite, I had also asked it about ice skates. I can't recall what it said about writing on the skates that time, or if it guessed the skates. I own ice skates too, and they also have writing on them. The blades have the name of the manufacturer engraved on them, after all.
posted by litlnemo at 4:44 AM on March 2, 2003


Just figured out that if you register with it, you can actually teach it by clicking an "update" button after it guesses (or you tell it) your word. That's how it's gotten so smart, appartently. It has kept track of millions of past games by registered users for over a decade.
posted by boltman at 11:05 AM on March 2, 2003


« Older Demography is destiny...  |  ¬ęThe policies we are now asked... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments