Let's play 20 questions!
December 12, 2004 4:50 PM   Subscribe

20 questions, AI style. Pretty amazing... and addictive. It guessed "Superman" in 15 questions, "harmonica" in 18..."tampon" in 20.
posted by jeremy b (85 comments total)
 
Nueral Net or simple Binary Tree?
posted by srboisvert at 4:54 PM on December 12, 2004


As seen here and here.

Two second archive search.
posted by cosmonik at 4:55 PM on December 12, 2004


I'm thinking of something that's been in the blue before.

On Preview-- Damn beat by somebody with almost the same name.
posted by cosmonaught at 4:56 PM on December 12, 2004


Anyway... a search for "the fish in my pants" failed. Perhaps I was looking in the wrong pants. Before this is BALETED, here's its transcript:

27. Can it affect you (cause an effect to you)? No.

Grammar is the ROXOR!!1!

28. Does it bring joy to people? Yes.

Oh yes.


I am guessing that it is an axolotl(mexican salamander)?
Yes , No , Close
28. Does it bring joy to people? Yes.
27. Can it affect you (cause an effect to you)? No.
26. Does it come in different colors? Yes.
25. Does it have short fur? No.
24. Does it make noise? Sometimes.
23. Does it have a spine? Yes.
22. Is it a wild animal? Yes.
21. Does it eat fish? No.
20. I guess that it is an electric eel? Close.
19. Is it brown? Depends.
18. I guess that it is a tadpole? No.
17. Is it colorless? No.
16. Is it usually colorful? No.
15. Would you eat it? No.
14. I guess that it is a largemouth bass? Close.
13. Is it smaller than a loaf of bread? Yes.
12. Can you smell it? Yes.
11. Does it fly? No.
10. Does it live in the ocean? No.
9. Is it made in many different styles? No.
8. Does it have ears? No.
7. Can it be trained to obey commands? No.
6. Would you find it on a farm? No.
5. Can it swim? Yes.
4. Does it have claws? No.
3. Can you lift it? Yes.
2. Can you buy it? No.
1. It is classified as Animal.
posted by metaculpa at 4:58 PM on December 12, 2004


cosmonaught...pwned j00

(damn...that name thing's freaky. Intentional mispelling on your part? Also, now who gets to be 'cosmo'? :D)
posted by cosmonik at 4:58 PM on December 12, 2004


Wow.. the double-post police were all over that one :)

So much for my first MeFi post.
posted by jeremy b at 5:01 PM on December 12, 2004


Incredible...

"You were thinking of heavy metal.
Is it heavier than a pound of butter? You said Yes, I say No.
"

I still refute that heavy metal is heavier than a pound of butter.
posted by Demogorgon at 5:05 PM on December 12, 2004


Yeah, it's intentional, but for no good reason.

I think the only fair thing to do is alternate-- I'll take Monday, Wednesday, Friday, you can have it Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and we'll trade of Sundays. I'm feeling generous, so you can have this one, cosmo.
posted by cosmonaught at 5:05 PM on December 12, 2004


It almost got stalactite, but I "won." The closest it came was stalagmite.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:05 PM on December 12, 2004


Don't feel bad, jeremy b, that was the cosmos' first double post call-out.
posted by cosmonaught at 5:07 PM on December 12, 2004


It failed on "claymore sword", "anti-personnel mine", and "muzzle" - I just love decision trees.
posted by FormlessOne at 5:21 PM on December 12, 2004


is ink flexible? i said yes and it got cross with me.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:25 PM on December 12, 2004


OMFG, it gussed bar code in 18 questions.
posted by potuncle at 5:28 PM on December 12, 2004


The answer was a "double post".

I am guessing that it is a Macintosh computer?
29. I guess that it is E-mail? Close.
28. Does it make noise? Sometimes.
27. Is it involved in movies? Sometimes.
26. Does it have lots of buttons? Sometimes.
25. Is it manufactured? Sometimes.
24. Does a basketball player use it? Maybe.
23. Can you open it? Yes.
22. Can you buy it at a store? No.
21. Is it usually colorful? Sometimes.
20. I guess that it is a web browser? Close.
19. Is it a common household object? Sometimes.
18. I guess that it is a chat room? Close.
17. Can you put something into it? Yes.
16. Is it an abstract concept? Yes.
15. Can you make money by selling it? No.
14. Can you play with it? Yes.
13. Can it fit in an envelope? Irrelevant.
12. Do most people use this daily? Yes.
11. Can it make a sound? Sometimes.
10. Would you pay to use it? No.
9. Can you use it to hit something? No.
8. Does it open? Usually.
7. Can you read it? Yes.
6. Is it used for entertainment? Yes.
5. Is it square shaped? Sometimes.
4. Is it made of plastic? No.
3. Is it round? No.
2. Does it have writing on it? Yes.
1. It is classified as Other.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 5:30 PM on December 12, 2004


'naught - deal.

jeremy b - From one n00b to another, that was the kindest double-post notification you could hope for on the blue. Double-post notifications also let people see what other comments etc. were made the last time the Meta community looked at this link, so it's not pure snark.

How is ink not flexible?

(And how heavy is heavy metal? Pretty heavy, I'd say)
posted by cosmonik at 5:41 PM on December 12, 2004


demogorgon: Heavier than a pound of butter, yes, but not heavier than a pound of lead.
posted by mendel at 5:41 PM on December 12, 2004


One of the funniest games I ever played with 20Q:

The object you selected is: a prostitute
30. I guess that it is a gay man (homosexual)? No
29. I guess that it is a woman? Close
28. Is it a crustacean? No
27. Can it discharge waste? Yes
26. Does it need love? Doubtful
25. Is it taught in school? Irrelevant
24. Is it smooth? Probably
23. Is it something you bring along? Maybe
22. Is it helpful in the learning process? Maybe
21. Is it commonly used? Doubtful
20. I guess that it is a human being? Close
19. Do you use it at night? Yes
18. Do you clean it regularly? Yes
17. Would you use it daily? Doubtful
16. Does it provide protection? Usually
15. Is it a carnivore? Probably
14. Can it bind objects? Sometimes
13. Can you obtain information by using it? Sometimes
12. Does it lift the spirits? Yes
11. Does it live in groups? Yes
10. Can it be used more than once? Yes
9. Does it have four legs? No
8. Can you hold it? Yes
7. Does it have a long tail? No
6. Does it have teeth? Yes
5. Is it hazardous to your health? Probably
4. Is it a type of fish? No
3. Is it eaten by people? Sometimes
2. Does it have claws? Rarely
1. Is it classified as? Animal
posted by dmd at 5:44 PM on December 12, 2004


Great link. It got stumped by a couple of things which I would have thought quite easy to guess, and some of the conclusions it drew seemed unusual to me -- it's great that the logical contradictions are posted at the end, since it lets me examine my own logic compared to that of the program (and, by extension, of the many other people who have interacted with it), and obviously helps the program to evolve a better consensus. (I tried 'cat' to see how quickly it would get it, and got a couple of contradictions at the end, including this one:

You were thinking of a domestic cat.
Does it have arms? You said Yes, I say No.


I suppose they're legs, not arms, but since one of the previous questions was 'Does it have paws?' (yes), this made me picture a cat with its two front paws floating around without limbs to connect them to the body.)
posted by alsorises at 5:46 PM on December 12, 2004


I dunno. I've always favored the Guess the Dictator and/or Television Sit-Com Character from Smalltime Industries
posted by The White Hat at 5:53 PM on December 12, 2004


8. Does it open? Usually.

Heh.
posted by trharlan at 6:04 PM on December 12, 2004


Toenail took 25, but it disagreed with me that it was animal and not clear. It doesn't know my toenail.
posted by Peach at 6:09 PM on December 12, 2004


I don't mind the double-up so much, since this is the sort of thing I only play with when it is on today's mefi. And in July it wasn't as much fun for some reason.

You win, but 20Q did guess it eventually

You were thinking of love.
You said it is classified as Unknown, I say Other.
Can you use it at school? You said Yes, I say No.
Does a basketball player use it? You said Yes, I say No.
Do you use it with a computer? You said Sometimes, I say No.
Is it flexible? You said Yes, I say No.
Can you make sounds with it ? You said Yes, I say No.

posted by damehex at 6:11 PM on December 12, 2004


it got tobacco in 19.

it never got a poetry contest.

What you were thinking of is not in my knowledgebase.
Similar Objects
autism, yoga, karate, a marathon, disease, poverty, a cold (a viral disease), anorexia, the flu (Influenza), a fungus, wrestling, autumn.
posted by mosch at 6:15 PM on December 12, 2004


Uncommon Knowledge about a vagina:
Does it contain a lot of water? I say Yes.
Is it multicolored? I say Yes.
Is it worth a lot of money? I say Yes.
Does it live in large populations? I say Yes.
Does it require specific knowledge to use it? I say Yes.
Is it something you can purchase? I say Yes.
Does it taste sweet? I say Yes.
Would you eat it? I say Yes.
Does it have cash value? I say Yes.
Can you eat off of it? I say Yes.
Does it make sound? I say Yes.
Does it squirm? I say Yes.
Can you buy it? I say Yes.
Does it smell bad? I say Yes.
Do you fill it with liquid? I say Yes.
Does it slobber? I say Yes.
posted by bonheur at 6:30 PM on December 12, 2004


You can buy these at Target, Wal-Mart and other stores. A hand-held orb in the games section called "20Q". I just gave one away at a work Christmas party.
posted by jmccorm at 6:30 PM on December 12, 2004


Beat it with DVD, but it did catch it eventually. Some interesting errors on its part though (at least they're errors from my perspective).
You were thinking of a DVD disk.
Is it used in a game? You said Sometimes, I say No. - Hmmm.. Guess it hasn't heard of PS2.
Does it help accomplish tasks? You said Sometimes, I say No. - Well, if the task is to archive all my pron...
Is it made in many different styles? You said Yes, I say No. - Let's see: DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-dual layer, DVD-RW...
Do you use it at work? You said Sometimes, I say No. - Weird that the AI's work doesn't require a computer.
posted by numlok at 6:35 PM on December 12, 2004


Uncommon Knowledge about a sumo wrestler
Is it found on a desk? I say Probably.
Is it bigger than sofa? I say Yes.
Is it alive? I say Doubtful.
Does it live in the jungle? I say Yes.
Do you open and close it? I say Yes.
Does it usually hunt for food at night? I say Yes.
Is it used during meals? I say Yes.
Do you hold it when you use it? I say Probably.
Is it colorless? I say Yes.
Does it live in African grass lands? I say Yes.
Would you pay to use it? I say Yes.
Is it fuzzy? I say Yes.
Can you peel it? I say Yes.
Is it round? I say Yes.
Can it have hands? I say No.
Is it crunchy? I say Yes.
posted by jmccorm at 6:35 PM on December 12, 2004


It never got "politics" when I tried it a few days ago.
posted by Doohickie at 6:45 PM on December 12, 2004


More Sumo fun: (BTW, it guessed it in 17 for me)
Uncommon Knowledge about a sumo wrestler
Can it be used for recreation? I say Yes.
Do you hold it when you use it? I say Probably.
Can it change size? I say Yes.
Can you find it in a house? I say Yes.
Is it brown? I say Yes.
Does it live in African grass lands? I say Yes. - WTF?
Does it get really hot? I say Yes.
Does it have tough skin? I say Doubtful.
Is it fuzzy? I say Yes.
Can it do tricks? I say Yes.
Have you seen one in real life? I say Yes.
Does it require specific knowledge to use it? I say Probably.
Does it live in cities? I say Yes.
Does it like to play? I say Yes.
Would you pay to use it? I say Yes.
Can you dress it up? I say Yes.
posted by numlok at 6:46 PM on December 12, 2004


Took 28 questions for "dictionary", and never got "candirĂº fish".
posted by kenko at 6:47 PM on December 12, 2004


Uncommon Knowledge about a gila monster
Does it bark? I say Probably.
Is it smaller than a golf ball? I say Probably.
Could it be found in a classroom? I say Probably.
Is it annoying? I say Yes.
Does it involve contact with other humans? I say Probably.
Is it used for entertainment? I say Probably.
Does it contain a lot of water? I say Yes.
Was it ever alive? I say Doubtful.
Is it used by the police? I say Yes. - Oh, Damn! Remind me to steer clear of that PD.
Also, I do remember the original post, but like damehex, don't mind the reminder on a slow Sunday night.
posted by numlok at 6:52 PM on December 12, 2004


Whilst at work, eating lunch, "Damn, where's that crunchy, jungle/savannah dwelling sumo wrestler when i need it? Ah there it is, I'd left him on the desk again, and fool that I am I'd forgotten that he's colourless..."

How does the AI guess anything at all with preconceptions like that?
posted by blindsam at 6:52 PM on December 12, 2004


I would actually love to see an encyclopedia filled with the items that match those preconceptions.
"The suspect was apprehended without issue when the swift thinking officer drew his barking pocket gila monster".
posted by numlok at 7:01 PM on December 12, 2004


Things I've learned from 20Q.net's "uncommon knowledge" section:
  • Symphonies are smaller than golf balls.
  • Teapots breathe.
  • You can live in your bird feeder.
  • Soap tastes good with butter.
Also, from the uncommon knowledge about soap, submitted without comment:

Have you seen one in real life? I say No.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:19 PM on December 12, 2004


...and "Pear" is an emotion.
Now I just need an [I "pear" the big "apple"] bumper sticker.
posted by numlok at 7:24 PM on December 12, 2004


Uncommon knowledge is so the best part of this thing.

Uncommon Knowledge about a network card
Does a hockey player use it? I say Probably.
Is it a type of cat? I say Yes.
Is it annoying? I say Yes.
Does it dig holes? I say Yes.
Can it swim? I say Yes.
Does it live in large populations? I say Yes.
posted by mendel at 7:33 PM on December 12, 2004


Whoa, I was thinking "wishbone" and the second thing it asked was "Can it bend without breaking?" Randomness can be freaky...
posted by ontic at 7:34 PM on December 12, 2004


If you try Gareth's [awful, racist] joke from "The Office" it gets pretty funny.
posted by ontic at 7:46 PM on December 12, 2004


I am guessing that it is a fool?
Yes , No , Close
29. I guess that it is a pirate? Close.
28. Is it bigger than sofa? No.
27. Is it annoying? Yes.
26. Does it live in African grass lands? No.
25. Does it eat fish? Sometimes.
24. I guess that it is a drunk? Close.
23. Does it live in the forest? No.
22. Can you lift it? No.
21. Does it live near water? Yes.
20. I guess that it is a criminal? Close.


The answer is, of course, George W Bush
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:47 PM on December 12, 2004


It never figured out "police officer." I decided that "detective" wasn't a close enough guess.

(And triple post this may be, but it's the sort of thing I don't mind seeing come around again once in a while.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:53 PM on December 12, 2004


It seems to believe that weasels are rodents, often photosynthesize, probably have feathers, and sport long noses.

Consensus != knowledge.
posted by ladd at 8:00 PM on December 12, 2004


Ha ha ha... Try "cocaine" (and by "try", I mean see if 20Q can guess it).
posted by numlok at 8:04 PM on December 12, 2004


I stumped it with "Tesla coil." I think this sort of thing gets a lot easier when you don't have a very firm understanding of whatever it is you are thinking of, but the AI can complain to someone else. I'll take my win any way I can get it.
posted by Hadroed at 8:07 PM on December 12, 2004


The game said it was having trouble with "an unknown" so I thought I'd give it a hand, but at the end it disagreed with all of my answers, so I think I just inadvertently made it harder for 20q to ever make the unknown known.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:19 PM on December 12, 2004


I think I'm going to have to make sure I don't bring any sashimi near the monitor I store The Hat on.

Uncommon Knowledge about a fedora
Does a basketball player use it? I say Yes.
Is it dangerous? I say Probably.
Would you find it in an office? I say Yes.
Can you find it in a church? I say Yes.
Does it have anything to do with salad? I say Yes.
Does it live in groups(gregarious)? I say Probably.
Is it used by the police? I say Yes.
Does it eat fish? I say Yes.
Can you see through it? I say Probably.
Is it a source of energy? I say Yes.
Does it have roots? I say Yes.
Is it a feeling? I say Yes.
Is it ferocious? I say Yes.
Does it deal with imagination? I say Yes.
Is it lumpy? I say Yes.
Does it get really hot? I say Yes.
posted by jakestone at 8:23 PM on December 12, 2004


poor thing doesn't know metafilter. We shall have to learn it.
posted by jmgorman at 8:38 PM on December 12, 2004


If you'll excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, I've gotta go down to the burrow to rustle me up a transparent ferocious four-wheeled toolbox made of paper.

Uncommon Knowledge about toolbox
Do you use it with a computer? I say Probably.
Can you see through it? I say Probably.
Can it float? I say Yes.
Do you make something with it? I say Probably.
Does it have one or more wheels? I say Yes.
Does it live in a burrow? I say Yes.
Does it reflect objects? I say Yes.
Is it a conductive element? I say Yes.
Would you use it daily? I say Yes.
Is it cool? I say Yes.
Is it ferocious? I say Yes.
Does it come in a box? I say Yes.
Does it have four wheels? I say Yes.
Do you love it? I say Probably.
Is it usually sliced or carved? I say Yes.
Is it made from paper? I say Probably.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:41 PM on December 12, 2004


But it's not as easily trained as a noob is.
posted by Doohickie at 8:41 PM on December 12, 2004


This is pretty funny.

Uncommon Knowledge about an ocean wave
Can you order it at a restaurant? I say Yes.
Is it bad for your health? I say Probably.
Is it found in salad bars? I say Yes.
Is it shiny? I say Yes.
Can it be used in remote areas? I say Doubtful.
Does it live in salt-water? I say Yes.
Is it used to make salads? I say Probably.
Does it roll? I say Yes.
Is it part of a set? I say Yes.
Can you blow it up? I say Probably.
Is it normally planted in gardens? I say Probably.
Can you smell it? I say No.
Is it inorganic? I say Yes.
Does it have keys? I say Yes.
Does it go in your mouth? I say Probably.
Is it tasty? I say Yes.
posted by symphonik at 8:49 PM on December 12, 2004


Being a fan of Joss Whedon's works, I thought I'd try transport spaceship Firefly. I answered seventeen questions, and 20q guessed "a rodeo". After nineteen questions it guessed "software." After twenty-five? "a time machine." After twenty-seven? "a submarine."

Methinks the Fox bastards that cancelled the series were using this AI to think with. I finally aquiesced to the more generic term: "a spaceship." 20q dutifully informed me spaceships are supposed to be white, made of a solitary synthetic material, are cold, bright, and probably jump (I'm hoping it's referring to light speed and not a pogo stick).

Artificial intelligences are so much fun to mess with. We've come a long way since Dr. Eliza haven't we? ..er, or have we?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:55 PM on December 12, 2004


ZachsMind, it specifically says no proper things.
posted by symphonik at 9:00 PM on December 12, 2004


Uncommon Knowledge about a woman
Is it brown? I say Yes.
Is it originally from Africa? I say Yes.
Would you pay to use it? I say Yes.
Is it originally from Canada? I say Probably.
Is it dangerous? I say Yes.
Do you hold it when you use it? I say Yes.
Does it have wide feet? I say Probably.
Can you eat off of it? I say Probably.
Can it be hunted? I say Yes.
Is it a renewable resource? I say Probably.
Does it provide shade? I say Probably.
Does it taste good with butter? I say Yes.
Is it originally from the Mediterranian? I say Yes.
Does it contain Vitamin C? I say Yes.
Does it smell bad? I say Yes.
Does a hockey player use it? I say Yes.
posted by symphonik at 9:01 PM on December 12, 2004


holy crap. It guessed a speculum in 20 questions. IT'S IN MY HEAD, GET IT OUT.

You were thinking of a speculum.
Can you play with it? You said Depends, I say Yes.
Can you use it with your friends? You said Maybe, I say No.

I say maybe because really, it just depends on what kind of friends you have.
posted by bedhead at 9:04 PM on December 12, 2004


Uncommon Knowledge about a cheeseburger
Does it have seeds? I say Yes.
Do you know any songs about it? I say Yes.
Can you put something into it? I say Yes.
Can you make sounds with it ? I say Probably.
Is it flexible? I say No.
Can it be trained to obey commands? I say Probably.
Does it come in many varieties? I say No.
Is it usually colorful? I say Yes.
Does it serve a purpose? I say Doubtful.
Does it have ears? I say Probably.
Is it clever? I say Probably.
Is it a primate? I say Probably.
Is it originally from Australia? I say Probably.
Do you put things in it? I say Yes.
Can you sit on it? I say Yes.
Does it have big leaves? I say Yes.

I might never eat a cheeseburger again.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:05 PM on December 12, 2004


Also, I just beat it by thinking of a dermal punch. Clearly this 20Q is not as familiar with body modification as it should be. HA!
posted by bedhead at 9:12 PM on December 12, 2004


This thing is surprisingly good at the elementary particles.
posted by apathy0o0 at 9:20 PM on December 12, 2004


It failed on 'neural net'. Self-awareness has apparently not been achieved.
posted by Ritchie at 9:28 PM on December 12, 2004


Wonderful. I, for one, never realized that a penguin probably requires batteries.
posted by infidelpants at 10:02 PM on December 12, 2004


Toenail clippers in 26 questions. Not bad.
posted by Flem Snopes at 10:28 PM on December 12, 2004


Surely you jest, apathy0o0

Uncommon Knowledge about a muon
Can it make a sound? I say Yes.
Is it made of plastic? I say Probably.
Can you use it with your friends? I say Probably.
Is it found on a desk? I say Yes.
Would you find it on a farm? I say Yes.
Does it have teeth? I say Yes.
Does it play music? I say Yes.
Is it a mammal? I say Yes.
Is it crunchy? I say Probably.
Does it come in specific sizes? I say Yes.

Uncommon, indeed.
posted by fatllama at 10:56 PM on December 12, 2004


Welp, it couldn't guess "catheter"... :/
posted by monaco at 11:12 PM on December 12, 2004


Uncommon Knowledge about a glass eye
Does it bring joy to people? I say No.
Can you play with it? I say No.

(goddamn bot, I'd let you play with mine.)
posted by damehex at 11:13 PM on December 12, 2004


It was unable to guess n00b.

The following were suggested:
an alien (extraterrestial)
an orc
a cyclops
a goblin
an acrobat
an author
a gymnast
people (human beings)
a chiropractor
a hockey stick
a scuba diver
the human body
an ape
a jester
a caveman
a criminal

disclaimer: fellow n00b
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:13 PM on December 12, 2004


Not using 20q again. It's an insane idiot, even for AI:

Uncommon Knowledge about a bass guitar
Does it have a long tail? I say Probably.
Is it a wild animal? I say Probably.
Is it usually green? I say Yes.
Does it have wings? I say Probably.
Was it used over 100 years ago? I say No.
Is it normally planted in gardens? I say Probably.
Can it be hunted? I say Yes.
Does it live in salt-water? I say Probably.
Is it delivered? I say Yes.
Is it shaped like a hot dog? I say Probably.
Can it be used to write? I say Yes.
Is it a herbivore? I say Probably.
Is it yellow? I say Probably.
Is it spotted? I say Probably.
Is it a primate? I say Probably.
Does it have writing on it? I say Yes.
posted by geoscott at 11:21 PM on December 12, 2004


It told me that mascara was similar to: hair spray, hair gel, a virus, lotion, a color, an antibiotic, manure, a shadow, talc, a freckle, a mustache, cough syrup.

Love this.
posted by Specklet at 11:27 PM on December 12, 2004


I bet Salvador Dali, René Magritte and Marcel Duchamp would have loved 20Q.
Uncommon Knowledge about a painting
Is it a pipe? I say No.
posted by numlok at 11:57 PM on December 12, 2004


guessed soulmate in 14
posted by kamylyon at 6:39 AM on December 13, 2004


It's not doing so well trying to guess "Chinatown."

"Can you play games with it?" Well, I guess you could. Sometimes.
"Does it have a hole in it?" Probably.
"Is it hard?" Partly.
"Can it affect you?" Yes.
"Does a basketball player use it?" Doubtful.
"It is a museum?" Nope.
posted by sfenders at 8:55 AM on December 13, 2004


oh numlock. :)
posted by ifjuly at 9:46 AM on December 13, 2004


Uncommon Knowledge about poetry
Is it usually warm? I say Yes.
Can you buy it? I say No.
Can you sit on it? I say Yes.
Does it have a handle? I say Probably.
Can it be placed on your head? I say Yes.
Is it used to record an event? I say Yes.
Does it serve a purpose? I say No.
Do you put things in it? I say Probably.
Can you speak into it? I say Yes.
Can it protect you from the rain? I say Probably.
Is it warm blooded? I say Yes.
Can you use it 24 hours a day? I say Doubtful.
Does it have fur? I say Yes.
Does it fit in your wallet? I say Yes.
Is it flexible? I say Yes.
Does it pant? I say Yes.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:48 AM on December 13, 2004


Is it flexible? I say No.
Can it be trained to obey commands? I say Probably


Wow, I sure as heck don't want to be eating any of those rigid cheeseburgers that can be trained to obey. Sit! Stay! Kill!

And what is all this nonsense about women and vaginas smelling bad??!!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:18 AM on December 13, 2004


Uncommon Knowledge about a bracelet
Is it pleasurable? I say Yes.
Is it very, very expensive? I say Yes.
Is it larger than a country? I say Probably.
Can it change size? I say Yes.
Does it have scales? I say Probably.
Can it add? I say Probably.
Does it live in trees? I say Yes.
Is it fragile? I say Yes.
Can you stretch it? I say Probably.
Is it a rodent? I say Probably.
Is it delivered? I say Yes.
Will it point out the right way? I say Yes.
Is it lumpy? I say Probably.
Do you open and close it? I say Yes.
Does it open? I say Yes.
Can it live out of water? I say No.

I love draping fragile, scaley, tree-dwelling rodents as big as a country around my wrist, it is so festive.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:32 AM on December 13, 2004


Is the site serious when it says:

It does not matter if our answers disagree, as over time the game will change its answers to reflect common knowledge. If you feel that the game is in error, the only way to fix it is to play again. ?

Presumably the logic for an object can be screwed over with some repeated attempts at the same object, if you constantly answer something with a daft answer. Which would explain:

Uncommon Knowledge about a road
Does it need love? I say Yes.
Is it found in salad bars? I say Probably.
Does it have a sense of smell? I say Probably.
posted by simcd at 10:59 AM on December 13, 2004


Symphonik said, "ZachsMind, it specifically says no proper things."

Dung ee-miao! "Transport spaceship" is pretty generic and lacks definite proper properties. Firefly's just where I got the impulse to try it. Ai ya! Hwai leh! Besides, I said I acquiesced to the more generic "spaceship" but the AI couldn't even guess that. Dong ma?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:45 AM on December 13, 2004


I stumped it with Welsh Terrier (though it had other dog breeds in the system) but it guessed football correctly.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:23 PM on December 13, 2004


Firefly was the best show. ever.
posted by Debaser626 at 12:27 PM on December 13, 2004


I also stumped it with wind chill factor and a classified ad.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:31 PM on December 13, 2004


I picked earwax but it thought it was snot. It got earwax eventually. Echidna it got in 18. Did you know that earwax is originally from Africa? And has seeds? And is [somehow] like a wedding ring? Damn I loved Firefly.
posted by jessamyn at 12:46 PM on December 13, 2004


Holy crap:

I am guessing that it is a kayak?
Yes , No , Close
12. Is it dangerous? No.
11. Is it tall? No.
10. Does it have writing on it? Yes.
9. Is it something you bring along? Yes.
8. Does it move? Yes.
7. Is it a metal? No.
6. Does it spin? No.
5. Is it comforting? No.
4. Is it human powered? Yes.
3. Is it smaller than a loaf of bread? No.
2. Does it usually have four corners? No.
1. It is classified as Other.
posted by pmbuko at 5:16 PM on December 13, 2004


Forgive my anatomic crassness, but this device was unable to dectect a "clitoris."
posted by VulcanMike at 5:57 PM on December 13, 2004


i tried "heroin" but it gave up after "you guessed something having to do with drugs." and mentioned something about my parents listening in. weird.

Uncommon Knowledge about cocaine
Is it found in a bathroom? I say Probably.
Is it delivered? I say Probably.
Is it used on a bed? I say Probably.
Can you use it as money? I say Yes.
Is it a source of energy? I say Yes.
Does it have a title? I say Probably.
Is it formed from carbon? I say Yes.
Does it smell bad? I say Probably.
Does it come from trees? I say Yes.
Is it a specific type? I say Yes.
Is it addictive? I say Yes.
Does it come from the ground? I say Yes.
Is it bad for your health? I say Yes.
Does it live in grass-lands? I say Probably.
Do you hold it when you use it? I say Doubtful.
Does it change colours? I say Probably.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:47 PM on December 14, 2004


The amazing thing about it is how differently it plays from a human 20Q player. A human player will recognizably get closer and closer to the right answer, if he plays well. Not so here:

I am guessing that it is a crossword puzzle?
15. Can it affect you (cause an effect to you)? Rarely.
14. Do you use it in public? Yes.
13. Does it involve contact with other humans? No.
12. Does it use numbers? Yes.
11. Is it worth a lot of money? No.
10. Does a basketball player use it? Sometimes.
9. Does it have writing on it? Yes.
8. Do you open and close it? No.
7. Can it cheer you up? Yes.
6. Does it come in a pack? No.
5. Can you recycle it? Yes.
4. Can it bend without breaking? Yes.
3. Does it bring joy to people? Depends.
2. Would you use it in the dark? No.
1. It is classified as Other.


I'd challenge any human to come up with "crossword puzzle" (which was correct) based on these 15 answers.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:05 PM on December 15, 2004


My thing: a dream
Its first guess: the universe

There's some deep metaphysical significance here, if only I can figure out what it is...
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:25 PM on December 15, 2004


Don't feel bad jeremy b , no double post thread has been this much fun, you scored!
yeah, it was fun the first time around too
posted by dabitch at 6:39 PM on December 15, 2004


OK, I understand that it uses people's answers to the questions to inform itself. But this sort of thing makes me wonder:

You were thinking of a restaurant.
Does it burn? You said Rarely, I say Yes.


What, have a bunch of arsonists been playing?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:19 PM on December 15, 2004


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