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Séminaire Donnees et APprentissage ArtificielRSS

WebCrow and the man-machine crossword challenge

Speaker(s) : Marco Gori (University of Siena)
Originally, it was just an assignment in my course of artificial intelligence. The assignment was supposed to focus on the problem of allocating a set of words onto a given crossword scheme. After a while, it became something more exciting: solve crosswords from clues exactly like humans do using pencil and rubber on the train or near the fireplace. Nearly four years ago, we launched the man-machine crossword challenge, that resembles somehow the celebrated chess man-machine competition. The software is called WebCrow (, since it makes significant use of the Web to answer encyclopedic clues thanks to a tight interaction with Google. On August the 31th, 2006, WebCrow thrashed human challengers during the ECAI-06 international conference. However, scientists participating to AI conferences are not necessarily crossword masters and, unfortunately, WebCrow is still unable to face truly crossword masters. In this talk, I describe the project and point out which technical solutions that might open the doors for transforming a nice software that solves crosswords to a crossword master.
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Thomas.Baerecke (at)
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