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May 3, 2006

20 Questions

How many questions do you need to guess a word? It depends, you'll say. But what questions do you have to ask to get relevant information about the notion? We'll start with something general like "Is it an object, an animal or a concept?" and then we get into details. How will we know when we have an answer? Too complicated, ask 20Q.

But what is 20Q? 20Q is an online game that uses artificial intelligence to guess asking just 20 questions the word you are thinking about. Because the game uses neural networks, it gets cleverer everytime someone plays it.

Is it mind reading or something? There's no magic and it doesn't work all the time: in 80% of the cases.

Is it new? The 20Q AI was invented by Robin Burgener in 1988, and went online in 1995. The game was played more than 25,000,000 million times, so now it's pretty smart.

The AI technology was also incorporated in a handheld electronic device and was used to promote Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

So where's the game again?

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