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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Haven't clocked you since the Sunny D went from being an outie to an innie."
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October 15 2007

Play 20Q with a computer. There is some serious Whedon love in this computer generated 20 questions. Choose Movies or TV. The more people play, the more accurate it becomes.

Interesting game.

It failed to get Nathan Fillion, my answers seemed to diverge from the general consensus of other players, mainly on the more vague questions.

It got Serenity very quickly though.

I had quite a few different goes and the worst I saw it perform was when I chose Michelle Wie (the golfer). It actually got the answer within the 20 questions, but it guessed at Tiger Woods first (despite me telling it the person was female just a few questions earlier). And on the results page to the question "Are you associated with golf", most people apparently said No!
It couldn't guess Bono because too many people had answered questions wrong. He *can* play the piano, he *hasn't* toured in the last two years and he *has* featured in a movie. Twice.

So it doesn't work if you know your subject too well.
It took more than 20 questions to guess Jayne Cobb (23), maybe because people had answered some questions wrong. Jayne *did* once have a roommate; he shared a bunk before joining up with Mal. Who would decide out of any person, place or thing on TV to "be" Jayne and not have seen "Out of Gas"? Not anyone at Whedonesque, I'm sure.

Also, Jayne "probably" has won some kind of award? Really? "Man-Ape-Gone-Wrong of the Year"? Or was he one of Space Soldier of Fortune magazine's 50 most beautiful people-who-would-kill-you-for-thinking-of-starting-a-fair-fight?

Caroline, what movies had Bono been in? Are they worth a peek?
It couldn't guess James Marsters because too many people who have played don't think his hair is brown, say he hasn't performed live since 2000, and don't think he plays the guitar.
Bono has a cameo in Wim Wenders' The Million Dollar Hotel (which he also wrote) and a bigger part in Across The Universe, out this month.
I thought that was him in Across the Universe. I saw it yesterday and in my opinion it was AWful. Gah!
Thanks Caroline.
Okay, for the record. Inara Serra is *not* an actress. Morena Baccarin is.
Yeah, this site is stupid. Cordelia Chase did not have a famous cast. How can a person, real or fictional, ever have a cast in any form? ARGH!
This think freaked me out a couple of times. It seemed to be nowhere even close, then suddenly correctly identified Dwight Schrute (from the Office), then Tara Maclay.
Ha! It couldn't get Principal Snyder though. I agree about it asking ridiculous questions, like questions that would make sense for a show when I've already selected Person.
Either the possible answers are ambiguous or a literal mind is the absolute kiss of death for something like this. Or both.

"Are you a movie ? Yes." followed by "Do you have children ?" (No, funnily enough) and then later "Are you a Doctor ?" made me smile. I guess I could be "King Kong" - which had a sequel, "Son of Kong" - or maybe I could be "Doctor Zhivago" ;). Or the questions could just be really poorly designed and non-adaptive. Pity, nice idea - artificial yes, intelligence ? Err, no.

(and "Unknown, Irrelevant, Sometimes, Probably, Doubtful" ? Any way they could vague that up a bit ? ;)
I was Firefly (the series) in the TV 20Q, and they guessed it correctly on the 19th question. The "Similar Objects" kinda blew my mind though:


Similar Objects
Spooks, Trailer Park Boys, Bleach, Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach), Deadwood, Elfin Lied, Third Watch, Shameless, The Unit, Moya (Farscape), Pokémon, Heroes.


I think it's because of that one episode where Jayne and Wash become best friends with a wild Charmander and then Joss kills it.
Apparently, people have taught it that Jayne Cobb is a movie, not a character. Odd...

But it still got Jayne pretty quickly.
The similar objects I got for Firefly, which it guessed right on Q20: Captain Mal Reynolds, Serenity (Firefly), Cowboy Bebop, Farscape, Arrested Development, Gundam, Battlestar Galactica, Jayne Cobb, Moya (Farscape), Lexx, Inara Serra, The Robot (Lost in Space).

Don't mind me for grinning at the Cowboy Bebop part. My mind is totally not shoving the Firefly cast into the Bebop, complete with scene reenactments and River as Ed scratching her nose with her foot while standing on her hands. Noooo sir...
Whenever it asks me a question inappropriate to the type (i.e. a "thing" question for a person, or vice versa) I just say "irrelevant." If enough people do that it will stop asking those questions. It should already know though, what kind of questions make sense for people/places/things.
It says it has been taught that Serenity doesn't make people cry. Sorry, but one word there: Wash.

Similar things: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, V for Vendetta, Edward Elric, Will Turner, Nathan Fillion, Captain Spaulding, Commodore Norrington, Samwise Gamgee, Zorro, Gimli, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Samwise Gamgee?????
Because of Lili and Kiki's reports and I went back and now it gave up after 25 questions or so but had Jayne on the list of possible answers. It is doing worse than before. It's a cute idea though.

And no, I'm haven't been reading too much Jayne fic, why do you ask? Thank god for Chuck--now if we could just get Casey's mom to send him a hat...
It said people have told it that Buffy did not make people cry. I guess that depends on the definition of "making people cry."
I got this:
You are Nathan Fillion.
Are you comedic? You said Sometimes, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is No.
Contradictions Detected
The opinions of the 20Q A.I. are its own, and are based on the input of players. 20Q's answers reflect common knowledge. If you feel that 20Q is in error, the only way to correct it is to play again!

Whoever thinks Nathan is not sometimes comedic
? Have I understood the qeustion wrong?

[ edited by Harpy on 2007-10-16 19:22 ]
It also thinks River Tam is a movie and not a character from a movie?!? And it guessed Jack Sparrow first?!?

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