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Dr. Fill

An AI program, Dr. Fill will debut at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament on March 16.

Credit: Economist

The Dr. Fill artificial intelligence program will debut March 16 at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.

Developed by Matt Ginsberg of On Time Systems, Dr. Fill contains all of the clues and answers for crossword puzzles created since 1990, and can break down unknown clues into long lists of potential answers that fit the required word or phrase length.

Ginsberg says he wanted to use Dr. Fill on a laptop, so the software needed to be cleverer than Watson. Dr. Fill fills in squares with its most confident pick, then works through potential crosses, and Ginsberg says the trick in making this large problem smaller is the crossed words, as the software reduces the universe of possibilities in comparison to open-ended questions.

Ginsberg says the software does not attempt to understand words or clues, but uses its power to search vastly deeper and juggle more responsibilities than any human being can. As a non-ranked participant, Ginsberg will punch the timed puzzles into Dr. Fill and print its answers for judges to score when the software is done.

From Economist 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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