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09/02/2006

Is this Intelligence?

                              Computer defeats humans at crossword

Crossword_puzzle1 Crossword-solving computer program WebCrow has defeated 25 human competitors in a puzzle competition in Riva del Garda, Italy.

The program took both first- and second-place honors in the contest, which was staged as part of the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, New Scientist reported Thursday.

The two English puzzles were taken from The New York Times and The Washington Post, while two Italian puzzles were taken from newspapers in the country. A fifth puzzle featured clues in both languages taken from all four sources.

"It exceeded our expectations because there were around 15 Americans in the competition," said Marco Ernandes, who created WebCrow along with Giovanni Angelini and Marco Gori. "Now we'd like to test it against more people with English as their first language."

Ernandes said the program uses four techniques to solve a clue. Two of the techniques involve searching a database of solved puzzles and dictionaries, one uses rules common to two-letter answers in Italian and the final technique is a search of the Internet.  Link
 

                                 What do YOU think? Is it real intelligence?

                                                 Here's what I think ...

                  Crossword_puzzle

          Just in case you would like to make your own puzzles or need to print this one out to be able to solve it. (I have to have pencil, myself)  And, yes, I know about the spelling error.

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Comments

Ummmm... not quite.

According to "Mainstream Science on Intelligence":

'a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—"catching on", "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do.'

The crossword puzzle solving computer is cool and appears to possess some intelligence. But it's merely following a strict set of rules, albeit very quickly, to solve a problem. It can't necessarily figure out what to do on its own.

It's limited by the very same algorithms that help it solve the puzzle. And must be a very impressive set of algorithms. But I'd be more impressed if it were able to modify it's own code to deal with a 'curve-ball' during the rote process of searching through dictionaries. Maybe it can, but I doubt it.

My dogs are probably more intelligent that this computer. They certainly have varying degrees of the mental capabilities mentioned in the above definition. I'm pretty sure they think they're human.

my two cents...

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