I don’t know about you but after seven months in quarantine, we could all use a little fun, right? And I’ve just discovered the perfect way to get it. Have you ever played Akinator? My wife made me play it on Alexa the other night, although there’s also an app you can download (here it is for iOS and Android), as well as a web-based version) and MY. MIND. WAS. BLOWN.
Akinator is an app/Alexa skill that can ‘read your mind’. If you’re playing on Alexa, just say, “Alexa, play Akinator”.
Here’s what to do: You think of a character or person and Alexa (or the app) will ask you ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions to figure out who you’re thinking of. Since you are thinking of one name out of millions of possibilities (think: famous people, alive or dead, characters from books, movies and TV shows, etc.) it’s pretty incredible but Akinator guesses correctly every single time! I did Al Pacino and Dumbo and Akinator got them right. My wife says she’s played this game at least a hundred times over the years and it has never been wrong. She typically thinks of literary characters – anyone from Max deWinter to Winnie the Pooh. She woke up this morning and did Vampirina (yes, we’re the parents of toddlers) and it guessed it with ease. It’s amazing and lots of fun – you’ll love it!
So, how can it read your mind? I couldn’t even begin to explain how it all works but here’s an attempt at breaking it down. The author conjectures that to make this work, you would “start by writing down some famous characters. For each character, pick as many variables (that are associated with a question) and give the answer. Add these characters to a database. Now, ask a question – like “is your character from Star Wars?”. If the answer is “yes” then eliminate all the characters with a Star Wars variable of 0 or 1. Keep going with questions until you are down to one or two characters and then guess.”
Regardless of the mathematical equations behind the scenes, all I know is that it’s tons of fun and you could spend lots of time trying to beat the game. So far, I haven’t been able to but let me know if you do! Share this with your friends and family – I’m sure they’ll love it, too. Enjoy!
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