Computer defeats humans at crossword

September 1, 2006

Crossword-solving computer program WebCrow has defeated 25 human competitors in a puzzle competition in Riva del Garda, Italy.

The program took both first- and second-place honors in the contest, which was staged as part of the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, New Scientist reported Thursday.

The two English puzzles were taken from The New York Times and The Washington Post, while two Italian puzzles were taken from newspapers in the country. A fifth puzzle featured clues in both languages taken from all four sources.

"It exceeded our expectations because there were around 15 Americans in the competition," said Marco Ernandes, who created WebCrow along with Giovanni Angelini and Marco Gori. "Now we'd like to test it against more people with English as their first language."

Ernandes said the program uses four techniques to solve a clue. Two of the techniques involve searching a database of solved puzzles and dictionaries, one uses rules common to two-letter answers in Italian and the final technique is a search of the Internet.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Fossil supervolcano in Italian Alps may answer deep mysteries around active supervolcanoes

Related Stories

Dawn soars over asteroid Vesta in 3-D

December 2, 2011

Glide over the giant asteroid Vesta with NASA's Dawn spacecraft in a new 3-D video.  Dawn has been orbiting Vesta since July 15, obtaining high-resolution images of its bumpy, cratered surface and making other scientific ...

Genetic expression 'predicts lung cancer survival'

July 14, 2015

A study led by Oxford University researchers and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy has shed light on a key puzzle thrown up in some lung cancer screening programmes.

You, too, can be an astrophysicist with your new telescope

January 5, 2018

A telescope can reveal the beauty of the universe, such as the Moon's craters, Saturn's rings, and the glowing gas of the Orion nebula. But a telescope isn't just for sightseeing – it is also a scientific instrument.

Juno mission to Jupiter delivers first science results

May 25, 2017

NASA's Juno mission, led by Southwest Research Institute's Dr. Scott Bolton, is rewriting what scientists thought they knew about Jupiter specifically, and gas giants in general, according to a pair of Science papers released ...

Recommended for you

Google braces for huge EU fine over Android

July 18, 2018

Google prepared Wednesday to be hit with huge EU fine for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system in a ruling that could spark new tensions between Brussels and Washington.

EU set to fine Google billions over Android: sources

July 17, 2018

The EU is set to fine US internet giant Google several billion euros this week for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system, sources said, in a ruling that risks fresh tensions with Washington.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.