artificial intelligence


Jason Kottke runs one of the finest examples of the curated link blog out there. He manages to find and post some of the most interesting stuff online before just about any body else. Now, somebody built a robot version of Kottke… it’s an interesting experiment.

I don’t think of St. Eutychus as a link blog. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s a content blog. Sometimes it’s a soapbox. But my inclination towards link blogging waxes and wanes. It’s a great way to keep content flowing without investing significant time into posting, but you also get to a point where your curatorial or editorial senses are dulled. There are things on the Internet that don’t excite me as much as they used to. Everybody’s sharing stuff. Some people are sharing everything (I’m looking at you 22 Words)… Kottke describes this malaise beautifully in a piece about the robot version of himself…

“Some days, you just don’t want to do it,” Kottke says. “You look at so much stuff everyday and it all becomes kind of the sameā€”all equally interesting or uninteresting. It’s hard to maintain that sense of discovery, that little hit that you get when you find something that you haven’t seen before. I’ve posted 15,000, maybe 20,000 links since I started. I’ve been whittling down the discovery space of things that are going to be new and interesting.”

Here’s Robottke – the machine version of the link blogger…

Think you’re a Scissors, Rock, Paper gun? Take on the supercomputer

The New York Times has created the world’s fastest scissors, rock, paper player. A computer that draws on the memory of 200,000 games and analyses your most likely move based on patterns. I took a stab, and 200+ games later I declared the computer the winner. I reckon it’s slightly harder than the games in the Alex (the) Kidd games. I thought the “the” was their – but not according to Dr. Google.

“Computers mimic human reasoning by building on simple rules and statistical averages. Test your strategy against the computer in this rock-paper-scissors game illustrating basic artificial intelligence. Choose from two different modes: novice, where the computer learns to play from scratch, and veteran, where the computer pits over 200,000 rounds of previous experience against you.”

I tried thinking really hard about the best possible move and picking the opposite. I tried picking the same move ten times in a row and then changing it (I won that one, but lost the nine before that).

What are your strategies? With real people I like to call my moves in advance just to get people doublethinking. Then, if they think I’m trustworthy, they win the game, but I win the game of life. And if they don’t – I win both. It’s win/win.

I wonder if asking people what they call the game (ie the order they frame the three options in) is indicative of a person’s stock throw? Maybe it’s the one they put in the middle. I’m definitely a rock guy. Mainly because in my family a win came with the opportunity to physically demonstrate the action of the winning item. And a rock is more fun to dish out than scissors.

The Chicken Dance

This “Subservient Chicken” will do just about anything you ask it to. Provided you use words that can be generally applied and don’t want him to adhere strictly to a literal translation of your instructions.


It’s clever. And an ad for Burger King. Tell him to punch himself in the head. I did. And was pleasantly surprised.

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