Designer and developer Frank Lanza has announced the launch of an online version of his witty game Hey, Robot. Together with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and a handful of employees, they made a free, universal version for everyone who is bored in quarantine. It is still full of flaws and mistakes, but this makes the gameplay more "lively and interesting".
The original project Hey, Robot kicked off on Kickstarter in October 2019. Lanz envisioned it as a full-fledged board game featuring popular voice assistants including Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. The project is already being successfully implemented, but the game has not yet gone on sale, in part due to global problems with production and logistics. It is expected to be released by the summer, but in the meantime, you can try out the digital version. For Lanz's team, this is even beneficial as an out-of-order mass testing of the program.
The idea of "Hey, robot" is extremely simple - you need to make the voice assistant say the word you have conceived in a limited number of moves. You can ask him questions, make hints, suggest, just like when playing with ordinary people. The problem (which is also the most interesting factor in this game) is that these digital assistants are not yet as "smart" as their creators would like them to be. And when it comes to practice and live dialogue, an impromptu comedy show begins.
Neither the author of "Hey Robot" nor the creators of these AIs know how to communicate with voice assistants, what strategy to choose. Too many factors are combined here, and the use of intuition and a broad outlook come to the fore, rather than the ability to recognize the interlocutor's speech and maintain a conversation. And modern voice assistants, for obvious reasons, do not have intuition.