20Q New Version - It knows... EVERYTHING!
When someone claims they can read minds, most rational people run a mile. When someone claims they've got a ball of plastic that can read minds it's usually time to call the men in white coats. But that's exactly what the boffins behind 20Q announced when they turned up clutching a prototype of this truly astounding new gizmo.
20Q New Version - New 'undo' button!
We were sceptical (to put it mildly), but then we witnessed 20Q in action. This totally mystifying ball of circuitry left us flummoxed, flabbergasted and scratching our heads in disbelief, as it can indeed guess exactly what you're thinking. But then again, at this precise moment, so can we: you're thinking "How the *!*?#! does it work?".
20Q New Version - Make the screen even brighter!
Basically, 20Q is an electronic version of the traditional 'animal, vegetable, mineral?' guessing game that everyone has played at some point. The difference is, 20Q nearly always guesses the correct answer. Bewildering! And no, we don't know how it works.
To play 20Q, think of something, anything, then answer a series of up to 20 questions. 20Q asks the questions via an LED display and you answer by pressing the 'yes,' 'no' or 'maybe' buttons. By asking questions that seem completely irrelevant ("Is it flat?" and "Is it heavier than a pound of butter?") 20Q somehow works out what you're thinking. To add to the fun and games 20Q will sometimes stop to taunt you, displaying messages such as "You can't beat me" or "You thought you were tricky.
After 20 questions it should be able to name the object, although if it guesses incorrectly it will ask five more questions and take a second guess before admitting defeat. (So far we've only managed to stump it with obscenities).
20Q is remarkably smart - we thought of the word "Firebox" (clever, eh?) on our first ever go, and it came up with "Hotbox" within about fifteen questions. An amazing feat when you consider the fact Firebox is not (yet) in the dictionary. 20Q is a brilliantly portable plaything and it's guaranteed to get jaws dropping to the floor in amazement. We guess, no, we know you'll be amazed!
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