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Guess the Name
September 15, 2003 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Guess the Name - Apparently I was the 10th person to think of Turner & Hooch.
posted by Witty (82 comments total)

 
It's like that "Sitcom Charcater/Dictator" game. Same interface, even. Interesting - I wonder how hard these are to customize, as the engine seems to build itself somewhat.
posted by jonson at 9:56 AM on September 15, 2003


i don't recall the sitcom character/dictator game being this tedious, but i haven't played it in ages.
posted by donkeyschlong at 9:59 AM on September 15, 2003


I stumped it.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:02 AM on September 15, 2003


The key innovation in a system used by the dictator game and this bastard child would be a way to optimize the question tree a lot more, so you don't get long streams of questions like 'are you from the planet melmach?' 'does your father drive a taxi?', etc.

But that would involve perfecting artificial intelligence, so good luck to whoever does it. It will at least make web games more fun if nothing else :)
posted by Space Coyote at 10:05 AM on September 15, 2003


I was the 5th person to think of Three's Company, which seems odd.
posted by Fat Elvis at 10:07 AM on September 15, 2003


Space Coyote, I don't really think that would involve "perfecting artificial intelligence". Pruning of a search space is one of the fundamental concepts in AI, and is taught in every introductory course.
posted by jon_kill at 10:09 AM on September 15, 2003


I was the 889th person for three's company. Odd.

I stumped it with The Snorks.
posted by mathowie at 10:11 AM on September 15, 2003


I was the third person to think of The Electric Company but I stumped it with Models Inc.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:18 AM on September 15, 2003


I stumped it with Burns & Allen.
posted by dogwelder at 10:18 AM on September 15, 2003


Tedious and lame. Didn't get Sanford and Son.
posted by squirrel at 10:19 AM on September 15, 2003


27th to think of the Seven Samurai. I knew when it had guessed it, (does it involve samurai warriors defending a village?) but it gave one further question beyond that, to make the identifcation positive: "Does it star Jennifer Lopez?" Should have answered yes, dammit! I wonder what movie it would have come up with then?
posted by spnx at 10:19 AM on September 15, 2003


Wow, 120 questions and only 1 yes, then a useless guess.
posted by biffa at 10:24 AM on September 15, 2003


Lame. I stumped it with the show "Step by Step" (Suzanne Somers) and the movie "Not Without My Daughter."

What's ruining the game is when people can submit questions if they've stumped the comptuer -- the questions are too specific ("Does it involve a cute little girl with mean parents and teachers and can move things with her mind?") to be of any use.
posted by jennak at 10:26 AM on September 15, 2003


It couldn't guess Wonder Boys. So sad...
posted by amandaudoff at 10:26 AM on September 15, 2003


Does it take place in mid evil times?

Uh.

How do I answer that?
posted by linux at 10:28 AM on September 15, 2003


Didn't get It Happened One Night.
posted by linux at 10:30 AM on September 15, 2003


I stumped it with both Secret Agent (aka Danger Man) and Dead Man. Lame.
posted by smich at 10:30 AM on September 15, 2003


When the dictator/sitcom character one first appeared, I recall having no problem at all stumping it with obscure sitcome denizens, but by the time it popped up here as a link, a year or more later, it was next to impossible to stump.

This one may just need a little more time.
posted by briank at 10:33 AM on September 15, 2003


Stumped it with my first: James and the Giant Peach. I'm guessing it doesn't start getting good until a few more days/weeks of user input.
posted by badstone at 10:35 AM on September 15, 2003


I stumped it, too.
posted by chuq at 10:36 AM on September 15, 2003


Stumped it with The New Show. Yeah, it only ran one season, but it had John Candy on it.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:37 AM on September 15, 2003


I stumped it with Lou Grant .. it's final guess was Sanfor and Son
posted by Danf at 10:37 AM on September 15, 2003


It correctly guessed Patlabor, which honestly surprised the hell out of me. Then again, it took something like a hundred questions to get there, probably because I was only the second person to think of it.

The main problem with this site is that it ought to organize the questions in order, so the first questions narrow down the tree more than later ones. I had to go through something like 30 really specific questions like "Does it star John Ritter?" before it finally asked if I was thinking of an anime.

The game plays more like a bunch of random questions than any sort of directed search. I mean, it did finally guess Patlabor, but since it did it by asking me about every damn TV plot in the world, followed by every damn anime plot in the world, I'm not all that impressed...
posted by vorfeed at 10:40 AM on September 15, 2003


Didn't get It Happened One Night.

It asked me if Claudette Colbert was in my film. Did you put that in?
posted by biffa at 10:50 AM on September 15, 2003


Wow, I can't believe it knew Patlabor.

It guessed Facts of Life after 20 questions or so. Damn.
posted by marzenie99 at 10:50 AM on September 15, 2003


You are player number 283 to have chosen Boondock Saints.

Guess alot of other people like that movie too..
posted by Decypher at 10:52 AM on September 15, 2003


"next time I'll be ready for you, little house on the prarie"

That's got a ring to it. I'm going to try to address people as TV shows whenever I can work it in.
posted by rainbaby at 10:53 AM on September 15, 2003


About 40 questions to get The Dukes of Hazzard. Strange stuff they were asking like.. "Does it involve an intelligent dolphin?" HUH?
posted by aacheson at 11:02 AM on September 15, 2003


It didn't get "Annie Hall", therefore, I find it worthless.
posted by ColdChef at 11:15 AM on September 15, 2003


It is easier to stump it on the movie side-- I have twice already.

Yup, it's a slow work day.
posted by marzenie99 at 11:16 AM on September 15, 2003


As it looked like I would actually die before it guessed Talk Radio, I bailed after over 100 questions. Poor Eric Bogosian.
posted by Skot at 11:17 AM on September 15, 2003


I agree that the AI seems off. Lots of questions asked that a prior answer should have already eliminated.

And fwiw, it did guess Northern Exposure after I don't know how many tries (and then only after asking whether it was set in Alaska). Apparently I'm the 4th person to choose that show.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:19 AM on September 15, 2003


The trouble with things like this is that morons are allowed to teach it questions to ask:

"Does this movie involve a snobby rich girl, a group of friends, and their horses?"

and:

"does the main characters first name is his last name spelled backwards?"

After 100+ questions it still hasn't guessed Goldfinger...

sigh
posted by DragonBoy at 11:23 AM on September 15, 2003


It finally got "That's My Bush" (I was number eight to choose that one) and for my next submission it got a little smart-alecky, even HAL-like:

I win again! You are player number 7413 to have chosen Gilligan's Island. I knew you were thinking of Gilligan's Island from the start, but I strung you along for a while to make it seem more sporting. I hope that one day you will overcome the powerful sense of humiliation that you now feel. Until then, good luck.
posted by Cedric at 11:23 AM on September 15, 2003


five more questions, and it got it.

dang...
posted by DragonBoy at 11:24 AM on September 15, 2003


I can't believe I stumped it with "My Mother The Car".
posted by tommasz at 11:32 AM on September 15, 2003


stumped it again - it guessed " I dream of jennie"
posted by dabitch at 11:36 AM on September 15, 2003


Stumped it with "Heidi", sadly. The site guessed "Beaches".

One very bizarre decision tree...
posted by FormlessOne at 11:37 AM on September 15, 2003


stumped it with "they Came from Outer Space", possibly because my sister and I were the only two people who watched it.
posted by Julnyes at 11:40 AM on September 15, 2003


I don't want to sound like a jerk, but this really sucks. It seems that its author has never heard of "decision trees" before.

Is it a Japanese Film? Yes
Did Aaliyah play lead female? WTF!?!?!
posted by Eamon at 11:42 AM on September 15, 2003


For some reason it couldn't seem to get Weekend at Bernies. Go figure.

But it did ask me

No, no and no, but I'd really like to see that film.
posted by ciderwoman at 11:54 AM on September 15, 2003


Stumped.

Lame site. I answered "No !" to about fifty questions before it gave me one I could answer yes to. Then it dropped three more before guessing "Ghost Ship." It feels like someone searching the list of stars and movie summaries at IMDB and tossing random, unrelated queries at you.

ciderwoman: it's right here.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:12 PM on September 15, 2003


You'd think they would have asked "Is it a karate movie?" before asking if it was a Jet Li, Jackie Chan or (insert 10 other action star names here) movie.

Majorly F'n Lame.
posted by teradome at 12:20 PM on September 15, 2003


You are player number 3 to pick Debbie Does Dallas, and what a clever choice it was!

Crap.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:42 PM on September 15, 2003


Robots + Pirates + Aliens = Ice Pirates?
posted by skwm at 12:53 PM on September 15, 2003


It took forever to find a relevant question regarding The Warriors ("Is it about gangs?"), but once it did it nailed it in three questions. I was the fourth person to pick that movie.
posted by me3dia at 12:56 PM on September 15, 2003


God, I was looking for "fight club" but didn't find it, finaly it asked me "Is it about a guy that is into rape, ultra-violence, and Beethoven?" I clicked "yes" out of bordom and still got nowhere!
posted by delmoi at 12:57 PM on September 15, 2003


I said it was a TV show and then it started asking about movies. Foolish program.
posted by jaden at 1:14 PM on September 15, 2003


It only tood like three questions to get short circuit 2. I was impressed.
posted by LouieLoco at 1:20 PM on September 15, 2003


It took a staggering number of questions to get The Flip Wilson Show, but it did eventually get it. I was person number 2 to try that one.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:22 PM on September 15, 2003


Am I the only one who played the animal guessing game that came with my LOGO interpreter back in the day?

Don't bash the author. The tree of questions is made by the users (that would be you guys). The author just threw it up there and decided this one would be about movies and tv shows.

Jonson, it *is* the exact same game. Change "TV Show or Movie Name" to *anything* else you like, and it will still work, because people will put in questions and answers of that type.

Jennak, what you say is ruining the game is, well, the only way the game will work. The tree grows with a new question each time it is "stumped." The questions land where the "stumping" occurred in the tree, and there is usually no way to rearrange them automatically.

Ah yes, here are some versions of that Animal Game - the original guessing game as far as I know. At least one of those uses a neural net of sorts, though, so it's smarter than the silly binary tree version.
posted by whatnotever at 1:32 PM on September 15, 2003


I was the 5th person to think of Three's Company, which seems odd.

I was the 889th person for three's company. Odd.

Hmm, I stumped it with Three's Company. Did I answer the questions wrong?

(Is everyone thinking about Three's Company lately?)
posted by lnicole at 1:40 PM on September 15, 2003


I tried to think of the most obscure, lame movie I could, so I'd have a chance at stumping it. I picked Sword of the Valiant, a really bad 80s interpretation of the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I did stump it, but it came close: it guessed First Knight, which also starred Sean Connery and was based on English legends.
posted by deadcowdan at 1:45 PM on September 15, 2003


Man... I'm trying to get it to guess Swingers now, and I've been through about 50 questions that were all "No"s.

And the questions are entirely too specific... I've seen at least a dozen questions where I immediately could identify the one and only movie that could be a "yes" answer.

I saw this done much better somewhere else, and I don't think it was limited to TV and movies. But I forget where, now. I'm going to search for it after I put this thing through its paces some more.
posted by nath at 1:50 PM on September 15, 2003


Finally, after about 65 questions, we hit a couple of positives. Once it got LA it nailed Swingers pretty easily.

And the website I was thinking of is 20q.net.
posted by nath at 1:53 PM on September 15, 2003


And the questions are entirely too specific... I've seen at least a dozen questions where I immediately could identify the one and only movie that could be a "yes" answer.

I think blame for that lies with the people who play, and end up putting in questions. If you stump it, it asks for a question that would be positive for your answer, but negative for the answer the program guessed. It tells you to be as general as possible, but obviously people do not follow that guideline.
posted by deadcowdan at 1:56 PM on September 15, 2003


That's true. I guess I just expected a bit more generality when the system had absolutely nothing to go on.

I've started playing with 20q.net again. I find it's designed a whole lot better.
posted by nath at 1:58 PM on September 15, 2003


Some more issues... I answered yes to the first "Is it a TV Show?" question, and then about a dozen questions later got asked "Is it a movie?"

Don't quite get that.

Best badly written question so far: "The Rattle Sanke?" I mean, even overlooking the misspelling of snake, what the hell does that mean?
posted by nath at 2:04 PM on September 15, 2003


I lost track of the number of questions it asked me (too many), but I was person #226 to pick Legally Blonde. I'm going to try again with Half Baked.
posted by monique at 2:08 PM on September 15, 2003


It guessed Half Baked after 88 questions.
posted by monique at 2:13 PM on September 15, 2003


Believe it or not, I stumped it with Star Wars.
posted by Lynsey at 2:17 PM on September 15, 2003


After about 40 questions, it correctly got "Welcome Back Kotter" - I'm the 243rd person to think of that one. Maybe I'll go back and play until I stump it - slow afternoon.
posted by thunder at 2:18 PM on September 15, 2003


Ha! I've stumped it with the Mack. After 200 guesses it still hasn't figured it out.
posted by monique at 2:28 PM on September 15, 2003


I stumped it with Airplane!
posted by SisterHavana at 2:35 PM on September 15, 2003


Hah - I just stumped it with A Christmas Story! One of the questions it asked was, "Does it involve guns?" - *grin* - It ended up guessing, "Swat" of all things. Took forever too. This is fun for the more popular shows/movies but for the other ones, the questions just seem like linear guesses after a while. Ahhh well.
posted by thunder at 3:03 PM on September 15, 2003


Stumped it with 'Map of the Human Heart'. Has anyone seen this film?
posted by feelinglistless at 3:12 PM on September 15, 2003


I guess that you are thinking of Star Wars: A New Hope! Am I right?

works for me.
posted by carfilhiot at 3:27 PM on September 15, 2003


Stumped it with The Crying Game, and then again with O Brother Where Art Thou. . . .. but the server times out repeatedly when it asks for the correct title and a good question, so those titles possibly have not entered the database yet.
posted by Danf at 3:33 PM on September 15, 2003


I guess that you are thinking of WKRC in Cincinnati! Am I right?

No. But you're REALLY close...
posted by mathis23 at 3:38 PM on September 15, 2003


I stumped it with Wings of Honneamise. Hey, they do say that if one thoughtful anime drama fails, try, try again...

It guessed The Lion King, which is worth a bitter chuckle or two. Wonder if I could get it to guess that for Kimba the White Lion?
posted by vorfeed at 3:59 PM on September 15, 2003


Maybe we could refine the question submission system so the program knows how much its limiting the field. So if I try to narrow down the field by asking "Is it a Woody Allen movie?", that gets more priority than, say, "does it have a snake eating an apple?" There's a bit of that filtering built in to the way people add questions, but it seems like it could be a lot more efficient.

It could also try rating questions by the liklihood that they lead to a correct solution, and shake up the decision tree based on those ratings.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:08 PM on September 15, 2003


After 117 questions (!) I stumped it with the 80s Diane Keaton movie "Baby Boom." It guessed "The Chauffeur" which I have never heard of as a movie. (Oddly, as a song, its the source of the name of my domain, but that's another story.)

What's ruining the game is when people can submit questions if they've stumped the comptuer.

Actually, the only thing wrong with that is that people who are submitting questions are idiots. I was asked "DoEs iT hAvE AnGeLInA JoiLEe?" and about every current teen idol (Farrell, Witherspoon, Hartnett) and a plethora of questions of questionable grammar, spelling (Betty Davies, oh dear lord) and sense. There must be some way for the site owners to go in and clean things up -- as it stands, it looks like a bunch of AIM kiddies have barfed all over the game, and that's just, well, not going to keep the game appealing to people who aren't AIM kiddies.
posted by Dreama at 4:35 PM on September 15, 2003


Flawless Victory!

Stumpted!
Stumparoo!
For the Hattrick!

I would have done this and this, but I got bored hitting the no link.
posted by bonehead at 4:36 PM on September 15, 2003


"Does Kevin Costner have webbed feet?"

Well, it's possible, but that's got nothing to do with the game.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:46 PM on September 15, 2003


I beat it with The Plague Dogs.
posted by sigma7 at 5:08 PM on September 15, 2003


Mork & Mindy. It knew. And the scary part: I was customer #299 to think of M&M.
posted by davidmsc at 5:14 PM on September 15, 2003


I wasn't trying to be obscure for obscurity's sake when I guessed Godard's Alphaville, but I, too, stumped it.

However, it stumped me with it's suggestion of La Haine. Never heard of it. May have to rent it now, just cuz.
posted by paisley at 6:40 PM on September 15, 2003


I was the 5th person to think of Three's Company, which seems odd.

I was the 889th person for three's company. Odd.

Hmm, I stumped it with Three's Company. Did I answer the questions wrong?


okay, and I got:

I win again! You are player number 137 to have chosen Three's Company. I knew you were thinking of Three's Company from the start, but I strung you along for a while to make it seem more sporting. I hope that one day you will overcome the powerful sense of humiliation that you now feel. Until then, good luck.

so that's kind of weird.

each question seemed to be pretty much specific to one show, so it was just going through guessing shows & I was just hitting no until it asked if it involved roommates. Then it asked a couple specific no's (is it about four older women living in florida?) and then gave me the above...
posted by mdn at 7:12 PM on September 15, 2003


It didn't know Radar Men From The Moon? Pfft! Loser.
posted by SPrintF at 7:17 PM on September 15, 2003


Why fix the decision tree? The longer it strings you along, the more impressions of the Google ads they get.
posted by mcguirk at 7:46 PM on September 15, 2003


Stumped it on my personal fave: "The President's Analyst" (even though it said I was the 3rd to use it)...
The second question was "Are there any robots?", and since part of the movie's comical surprise ending (SPOILER) involved a secret plot by the phone company to take over the world using the first version of nanites I'd ever seen in a movie (not to mention that Pat Harrington's character turned out to be a Disneyland-style audio-animatronic...), I gave a shaky "yes", then was sent all over the sci-fi landscape until the program answered "Austin Powers". The late Theodore J. Flicker (writer/director of "Analyst") probably wouldn't like that.
posted by wendell at 11:30 PM on September 15, 2003


The questions land where the "stumping" occurred in the tree, and there is usually no way to rearrange them automatically.

What?! I took a class that was basically about rearranging trees (it was only a two-hour honors section), and any decent AI class should cover much of the same. I think mcguirk hit the nail on the head.
posted by Eamon at 9:06 PM on September 17, 2003


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