Mattel, the renowned toy company, has recently announced the release of a new version of its popular visual guessing game, Pictionary. Titled “Pictionary Vs. AI,” this innovative game incorporates artificial intelligence technology and computer vision to enhance the gaming experience. Mattel revealed the game at the Code Conference 2023, an event co-hosted by Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel.
The concept behind Pictionary Vs. AI is simple yet intriguing. Players draw cards that assign a specific word, which they must then sketch on paper. Instead of other players guessing what has been drawn, the game uses an AI model to do the guessing. Through computer vision and a connected smartphone, the AI analyzes the artwork and attempts to identify what the player has drawn. Players can either win by successfully gambling on whether the AI will correctly identify the image or by the AI successfully identifying it. Bets must be placed before revealing the drawing to the AI model.
One of the exciting features of Pictionary Vs. AI is the inclusion of special challenges. These challenges introduce unique twists to the gameplay, such as drawing a single line on another person’s artwork or drawing with eyes closed. These challenges add an extra layer of excitement and unpredictability to the game.
According to Mattel’s Vice President and Global Head of Games, Pictionary Vs. AI offers a “new, modern way that fans can engage with the brand, combined with the hilarious quickdraw gameplay they’ve always loved.” By incorporating AI and computer vision into the game, Mattel aims to provide players with a fresh and immersive gaming experience that maintains the essence of the original Pictionary.
Pictionary Vs. AI will be available for purchase on Mattel’s website starting September 27th, priced at $24.99. It will later be released in retail stores on October 2nd. The game consists of 224 word prompts, which raises the question of how challenging it will be for the AI model to correctly identify the drawings. While Mattel has not disclosed whether the AI model recognizes more words than that, it is significantly fewer than the 2,500 words in the original Pictionary game.
Interestingly, Mattel’s AI model is based on Google’s technology and benefits from the “millions of user-submitted drawings” that were used to train it. The model used in Pictionary Vs. AI is derived from Google’s well-known Quick, Draw! game, where users sketch objects and the AI attempts to guess them. By integrating this model into the board game format, Mattel combines the charm of traditional gameplay with cutting-edge technology.
For those wondering if this collaboration is part of Google’s strategy to further train its model, Mattel assures players that the AI model can only recognize images from the Pictionary Vs. AI preset database. However, visitors at the Code Conference will have the opportunity to experience the game firsthand at the Pictionary exhibitor’s table during the event.
Pictionary Vs. AI promises to revolutionize the iconic guessing game by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. Mattel’s innovative approach demonstrates the company’s commitment to adapting to the changing landscape of gaming and finding new ways to engage with players. Whether you’re an avid fan of Pictionary or simply curious about the potential of AI in board games, Pictionary Vs. AI offers a unique and entertaining experience for players of all ages.