Thursday, July 15, 2004

Cosmic Buddha and AI

Justin links to a neat site where you can play 20 Questions with artificial intelligence. I was able to stump the AI with my objects (I thought of "the moon" and "a kumquat"), but the AI guessed Justin's object-- a toilet-- correctly. Scary. The machine's AI is honed as more and more people play the game. It'll even take into consideration people's contradictory answers to the same question about an object's possible traits. While I have no illusions that this program will one day come alive and slaughter us all, it's heartening to see AI becoming, more and more, an everyday reality.

Speaking of mean AI, if you haven't played the ass-kicking video game "Halo" (by Bungie) since it came out, buy an X-Box and give it a whirl. "Halo" is, to my mind, the only reason to buy an X-Box. Fans of AI will be tickled to encounter enemies who use actual tactics-- they move in a coordinated manner, hide, duck, jump, snipe at you from at distance, communicate with each other, etc. "Halo 2" is coming very soon, and the AI's supposed to be even better. Pardon my hard-on.

UPDATE: I tried the 20 Questions game again, this time thinking "galaxy," and it guessed correctly after 28 questions. What's creepy is that the game didn't ask the type of questions that, to my mind, would have "built up" or "added up" to a galaxy. Beddy strangie.

UPDATE 2: Just did it again, with "octopus." Here, too, I'm weirded out because the line of questions could just as easily have led to the guess "squid," but the AI correctly chose "octopus." If you're into questions about philosophy of mind, you might enjoy this dynamic, evolving program. Go try it out.


No comments: