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Semantic Experiences (research.google.com)
83 points by gajju3588 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments





I turned myself into their desired lab rat for the "Semantris" blocks game. I "lost" the game, but on a few occasions really it didn't match the word I was giving a clue for. There seemed to be no way to say "nope, that's not what I meant" -- which would seem to negatively reinforce what I thought the goal of the game was (to train the AI overlords on the semantics). I "lost", really, when the AI bot made mistakes. Perhaps the AI bot real goal is training me to make better, more obvious, clues. Weird.

Interesting indeed.

The arcade game of semantris was really annoying because as soon as you got a word wrong the new words started to pile up making finding the original keywords difficult.

The tetris game was more pleasing and a funny thing happened to me as I tried to destroy the block "internet" with a word "google" and the second last block eliminated was "monopoly", hah. Mildly amusing.

But I'm curious to see what kind of applications can/will be made out of this.


Are you color vision impaired? Because I had no trouble distinguishing the words even as they moved?

This might be an accessibility issue?


I do have mild red-green color blindness although I'm not completely sure how the game is even supposed to work. So once you get a word wrong it shows new words that are still connected to the one you're trying to eliminate? But yes once the old words moved out of the green top 4 box I could not distinguish them from the rest.

So the rules are there is a highlighted word above the bottom 4. Type a word you think is semantically related to that highlighted word. Then the game will sort all words by its relation function. If the word you supplied is in the highest 4 (sorts to the bottom 4) then it explodes and you get a new word near the top of the list.

The words in the box are irrelevant once you explode a word because they are sorted by the old semantic relationship.

The highlighted word is light blue and all the other words are a medium grey. That's why I thought you might have a vision issue.


Click the eye icon to the right. It has colour-blind-friendly versions.

It seems to really struggle with cultural references.

Sleippnr triggered "hamster" instead of horse.

"Long way down" triggered "game" instead of "motorcycle".

"Pecking at her nose" got "hairbrush" instead of "crow".


A hallmark of good game design is making your losses feel like your fault and not the game’s. You lost because you weren’t good enough (yet), not because the game was unfair.

But when you’re playing the blocks game and “two wheels” destroys “shoe” instead of “motorcycle” or “Jimmy Hendrix” is “drums” and not “guitar”, it’s a bit frustrating. Worse yet when you have to type “sweet food” five times in a row before it correctly guesses “cake”. Things it thought are more “sweet food” than cake: protein, cheese, strawberry, dinner.

Finally, while we can make some fun associations (“rawr” will identify “lion”) it’s inconsistent regarding cultural references. “Kazooie” will correctly identify “banjo” but “swan lake” will select “pier” instead of “ballet”.

I understand the point isn’t the games and that the creators don’t really have a direct input in these choices, but I found the game otherwise so enjoyable, I wish this wasn’t an issue. As it is, carefully planned strategies are punished instead of rewarded. It was fun for a bit, though, and I thank you for that enjoyment.


Too many words gotten from just typing 'sex'.



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