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Uncommon knowledge about a computer game

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2003

I played a few games of 20 questions against a computer yesterday. The system learns how to guess more effectively from its opponents; the more people play it, the better it gets. It’s pretty good right now, but needs a little work here and there. It guessed that I was thinking of “a computer game” in about 16 tries, but offered up the following extra information about computer games after its successful guess:

Uncommon Knowledge about a computer game
Does it have a handle? I say Probably.
Is it cold blooded? I say Probably.
Does it lay eggs? I say Probably.
Does it live in grass-lands? I say Probably.
Can it be worn by a person? I say Probably.
Does it change colours? I say Yes.
Does it beep? I say Probably.
Can you read it? I say Yes.
Can it swim? I say Probably.
Does it have a hole in it? I say Yes.
Do you open and close it? I say Yes.
Can it live out of water? I say Doubtful.
Have you seen one in real life? I say No.
Does it reflect objects? I say Yes.
Is it mechanical? I say Yes.
Does it usually live on a farm? I say Probably.

Did it conclude I was thinking of a video game or a cold blooded duck with a handle? Or, as a computer game itself, is it so deluded as to believe it can swim and lay eggs?

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