How do games like “Akinator” work? And how does it manage to guess stuff that is extremely specific?

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How do games like “Akinator” work? And how does it manage to guess stuff that is extremely specific?

In: Technology
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Basically it just remembers how you answered, and it applies it to further players.

So if you do Tommy Pickles, it will remember you said “Yes” to fictional character, “No” to older than 18, “Yes” to wear diapers etc. This is why if you beat these games it has you enter the correct answer, so it can begin properly saving your answers for this new subject.

I see akinator guesses a character (“real or imaginary”). There are similar games, like Q20, which guesses an _object_ that you are thinking, which is even more impressive.

What impress people is the seemingly enormous space of potential answers (there are lots and lots of possible characters!). How can it single out one of them, inside such a moltitude, by using only a small number of questions?

The core of answer is one counterintuitive trick: the exponential growth. Take yes/no qustions. A single yes/no answer lets you discriminate between two possibilities. Each subsequent answer doubles the number of possibilities that you can tell apart. So, two answers: 4 possibilities. Three Answers: 8 possibilities. Four: 16. Five: 32. Six: 64. See, it grows really fast. At 10 answers, you can distinguish more than one thousands, and at 20, more than a million. At 30, a billion — and at 33 you can already single out any single living person on Earth.