When I read an article on The Verge about a Google AI that recognises what I’m drawing, I just head to try it. When drawing at my best, something interesting happened: the AI made me laugh.

The game

Quick draw Is like playing Pictionary with AI. You get a word that you have to draw. The AI tries to guess what it is you’re drawing. As soon as you start drawing, you’ll hear the AI starting to guess what it is you’re trying to draw. Here’s one of my beautiful drawings of a pencil:


Sample image of a Quick Draw game.

As you might have guessed, the AI guessed the correct answer. I love it how it also shows the runner-ups, the drawings that were closest to my pencil. It also shows previous drawings by other users. Here’s sample of a traffic light drawing:


Sample of  the other peoples  drawing of the same object

This is part of the goal that Google has with their AI experiments: they make you understand how an AI can recognise patterns.

The laugh

Now on to the laugh. In one of my games, the AI had a hard time guessing what it was I was trying to draw. About 10 seconds in, it gave up. It threw out phrases like:

I’m stumped.

And not much later it followed with:

I have no clue what you’re drawing.

This last one did it for me. Something about the timing of the two comments and the tone of voice made it sound like it felt somewhat annoyed for not being able to guess the answer. This almost real reaction made me laugh. It made me laugh out loud.

The AI

AI-wise, it falls in the bucket of narrow AI. It’s a system created to do one thing: recognise patterns. But I loved it none the less. And the great thing about Quick Draw!’s narrow AI? It was the first time ever that an interaction by an Artificial Intelligence actually connected to me on an emotional level. And it only hit me about two days after the fact: interacting with an AI can now entertain me.

Further reading: If you’re interested in AI, I strongly recommend the post by Wait but Why.