While computers have been doing a pretty good job beating human beings at games like chess and Jeopardy! it looks like they need some more work when it comes to crossword puzzles. Last weekend, during the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in New York City, a computer program named Dr. Fill was beaten by 140 other contestants. The computer program, designed by Matthew Ginsberg, came in 141st out of 600 competitors.
While crossword puzzles are normally not a problem for the computer especially when it comes to conventional themes – it struggled when it came to dealing with humor or anything unusual i.e. words that had to be spelled backward. I guess Ginsberg didn’t foresee what he was getting into when he entered Dr. Fill into the contest. However he mentioned that he’ll be back again next year to hopefully win a better placement in the tournament.