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how does akinator work?

Posted by ElizaPrenzel on Friday, November 20, 2020

In this blog we have already talked Akinator and about expert systems on other occasions. According to the mathematician Alan Turing, at some point in their history, machines would obtain intelligence by being capable of simulating behaviors and reasoning similar to those of a human. Today Turing's prediction does not seem so far away as the advances in the artificial intelligence sector in recent years have been remarkable.

Nowadays, the use of products and applications based on artificial intelligence, from Siri to Google Now, is very common. In this article we will talk about Akinator, an application that works thanks to an expert system with a tree structure. The application in question is a program whose objective is to guess the name of the character you are thinking of. To do this, ask a series of questions to which you can answer: “Yes”, “No”, “I don't know”, “Probably yes” and “Probably no” . After a series of questions, Akinator is able to tell you the name of the character you were thinking of with a very small probability of being wrong.

To explain more in depth how this expert system works, we will take an example. The character chosen for this test will be Chema Alonso, CDO of Telefónica. With our character in mind we begin to answer Akinator's questions, The genius begins with very generic questions about the character's sex, existence and age, as we answer these questions, Akinator discards candidates and asks questions a little more concrete to guess who we think of.
Akinator is an app that tries to guess the person you are thinking of
Just below the questions there is a bar that indicates the progress of the process, this progresses as we answer questions, if any of the answers given does not correspond to what Akinator expected, the bar will go back. On many occasions Akinator is able to guess our character in just 8 questions.
Depending on our answers, the program takes one path or another, for example, if it asks us if our character is male and we answer yes, Akinator will automatically discard all female characters that appear in its database. After each question the number of possibilities is reduced. On the other hand, if we give the wrong answer, the genie will still be able to guess the character we are thinking of by asking key questions such as: "Is your character a hacker?" or "Does your character wear a hat?"
When this expert system reaches a conclusion it shows us a character on the screen and asks us if it is the one we were thinking about. In case of not being correct, it offers us two options: abandon the game or continue answering questions. If Akinator is correct, we can find the report of our game by sliding our screen to the right. In the registry it shows us all the questions to which we have answered indicating the answer expected by Akinator and our answer, in case the answers do not coincide, the question will be marked in red.
Akinator guessed Chema Alonso correctly.

Questions marked in blue may also appear in the log, where the answer expected by Akinator is none. This may be because a similar question has already been answered before, or that information about the character is unknown to Akinator. If our character does not appear in the Akinator database, obviously it cannot be guessed and the application will offer us the possibility of adding it to its database. To do so, we must enter your name, a brief description and a photograph of you if we have it.


Without a doubt, this is just a curious example of the application of expert systems. But its use is increasingly common in many companies due to its ability to manage large volumes of data and offer the same answers that an expert human would offer in a shorter period of time.


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