This is from a newsletter I get once a week, called This is True. I
tried two questions out on this thing, and it guessed the first one
right in 22 questions, the second it got in 19… (gun was the first item,
velociraptor was the second)
If you try it out, let me know.
BONZER WEB SITE OF THE WEEK: http://www.20q.net – Twenty Questions, updated for the computer age.
In this experiment in artificial intelligence, the computer tries to guess what you’re thinking of by asking simple questions. Think of an object and give it a go; you could be surprised by what it can guess. (It correctly guessed I was thinking
“unicorn” after 12 questions.) Everything 20q knows and all questions that it asks were entered by people playing the game; the more it’s played, the smarter it gets. At the end it lists contradictions to what it “knows”, which can be quite interesting.
For a BWSotW archive see
As a Google user, you’re familiar with the speed and accuracy of a Google search. How exactly does Google manage to find the right results for every query as quickly as it does? The heart of Google’s search technology is PigeonRank(tm), a system for ranking web pages developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University.
Building upon the breakthrough work of B. F. Skinner, Page and Brin reasoned that low cost pigeon clusters (PCs) could be used to compute the relative value of web pages faster than human editors or machine-based algorithms. And while Google has dozens of engineers working to improve every aspect of our service on a daily basis, PigeonRank continues to provide the basis for all of our web search tools. Read more…
The Cognitive Personal Assistant – Computerworld
Future Watch by Thomas Hoffman
Cognitive Personal Assistant
AI-based systems could handle routine administrative tasks.
JUNE 07, 2004 (COMPUTERWORLD) – Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are developing a computer-based administrative assistant that draws upon artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to perform routine tasks such as scheduling meetings for busy managers and filtering and prioritizing their e-mail.