Written by IainB
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Tuesday, 5 June 2012

image for Suck at pub quizzes? There's an app for that
Some people are wondering who has used the applelet on popular quiz shows

Combining technology from several different applelets, Alien Apps have cracked the problem of the pub quiz.

"The starting point is Siri," said Mac Buck, editor of App World!. "Siri can work out what kind of question it is. I didn't know what a pub quiz was, so I raided the slush fund at App World! and went to England."

Once in a pub environment, the iAnswer comes into its own, the AI at the heart of the iPhone making a pub quiz elementary, even for one solitary American who has never entered a pub quiz.

"There's even an option for generating your team name," said Buck. "Which was handy, as I couldn't think of one. It chose the name No Bucking Chance, I don't know why."

When there is general knowledge, the app can interrogate Yahoo and Google and Wiki answers for the correct answer after using Siri to translate the question. This can cater for even quite specialist knowledge as Buck found out.

"There was one question I don't know how anybody could know the answer," said Buck. "Who played Morse? I was flummoxed. Was it classical music? The app came back with John Thaw straight off."

As well as questions, the app can use Tin Eye technology to answer picture quiz rounds.

"It identified some guy called Reg Varney," said Buck. "Never heard of him, but iAnswer had."

Public buildings are equally simple, and using Shazam technology, spotting snippets of music are even simpler. Anagrams, missing words, and even eyebrow recognition. Nothing is unanswerable by iAnswer.

"According to the landlord at the Shepherds Inn," said Buck, "Nobody has ever got one hundred percent on his quiz. I won fifty pounds, which I think is nearly a thousand dollars."

Buck used the app to earn back the money for his unauthorised trip and enough to pay back the app.

"I give this five thumbs," said Buck. "I cannot praise this highly enough."

The only downside to the app, is that many pub quizzes are now aware of the applelet, and are either banning people from using it, and constructing questions to fool the applelet.

"There's a bit of an arm race at the moment," said Buck. "On the one hand is iAnswer, and on the other, the people trying to trip it up. I reckon the first sentient software will be iAnswer."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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