Computer Will Compete At Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

Its presence will be more symbolic than anything else, but it will nevertheless be interesting to watch how well a computer program can compete against the best humans when it comes to solving crossword puzzles – something that one would used to think would absolutely need a human element to solve. The program in question was developed by a developer named Matt Ginsberg.

If anyone would know how to construct a science to figuring out crossword puzzle answers, it's Ginsberg. He constructs puzzles for the New York Times. He decided to create the software algorithm because "I figured this would be a way for me to become a better solver," he said. The program is called Dr. Fill and it aims to understand human writing style and crunch it into a bunch of 0's and 1's.

Ginsberg described Dr. Fill as saying "its understanding of the constraints that come from the crossing words is much stronger, and it's doing much more sophisticated numerical analyses." Think of it as a very rudimentary version of IBM's Watson. The presence at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament will only be for proof-of-concept purposes. Fill won't be eligible to win, regardless of how well he (it) does.

[via NPR]