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Tuesday, 18 March 2014 13:06

Trash-talking Scrabble player invented

Written by Nick Farrell



Because the world needs more abuse

Carnegie Mellon University professor Reid Simmons and his students have created a Scrabble-playing robot named Victor that trash talks its human opponents. Victor was taught it how to play Scrabble, since it is a game with which most people are familiar. Simmons intended to make it fun to compete against so he developed it so that it would insult opponents.

Victor is good at the game but able to lose. Humans can use all 178,691 words that are allowable in North American Scrabble tournaments, but Victor is limited to 8,592 words taken from "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.”

During the game, and particularly if he is losing, Victor will come up with insults. These include: "Since you're human, I guess you think that's a pretty good move."

When a human played the word "mitering," earning a 50-point bonus for using all seven tiles: "I can't believe your feeble mind was able to play that word."

It is also good at catching out human opponents trying to pass words that are not in the dictionary: "This is not happy land of make believe. We only use real words," snarled Victor.

Nick Farrell

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