In case you didn’t know, FiveThirtyEight is an awesome blog about statistics. Recently, they posted a challenge against the new Words With Friends Artificial Intelligence. For the sake of science, I decided to replicate their study.

I’m an avid WWF player. As of this writing, I have played exactly 1800 games since October 2010 (which amounts to a little over one game per day). Of those, I’ve won 930, lost 864, and tied 6. Yes, I win more than I lose, but not this isn’t statistically significant (χ² = 2.4281, df = 1, p-value = 0.1192). In other words, I win more than I lose mostly due to chance.

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I started reading a book about artificial intelligence. It’s an older book, but only $4 and it came highly recommended as a starting point, since a lot of the basic concepts are still the same. Based on the things I was reading and this xkcd, I figured it might be within my capabilities to write a program that plays Tic Tac Toe. And I have. Sort of. You can play it here. Kinda.

See, the concepts of artificial intelligence and the basics of programming aren’t so hard. What’s hard is making it work in the “real world.”  More »

The Turing Test is a measure of artificial intelligence or, perhaps more accurately, linguistic mimicry. The nature of the test is simple: a judge sits at a computer, and chats (as you would on any instant messenger app) for five minutes. At the end of the five minutes, the judge decides whether their conversational partner was a human or a computer. The bar to achieve a “passing” grade was set by the creator of the test, Alan Turing: a machine fooling 30% of human judges into thinking it was human would pass. In 1950, Turing predicted that the feat would be achieved by the year 2000.

Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.

Also, Turing committed suicide in 1954. #depressing

However, a few weeks ago, for the first time in history, it was announced that the Turing Test had been passedMore »