9 Down, 14 letters: Someone skilled in creating and solving crossword puzzles.
This April, the fastest “cruciverbalist” at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament was Dr.Fill, a crossword puzzle-solving AI program created by Matt Ginsberg.
Dr.Fill perfectly solved the championship puzzle in 49 seconds. The first human champion, Tyler Hinman, filled the 15×15 crossword in exactly three minutes.
Though Ginsberg has published crossword puzzles for the New York Times, he has trouble solving puzzles, even his own. After attending a crossword tournament over a decade ago, Ginsberg decided to create a crossword-solving program to compete against top-tier word nerds.
Ginsberg spoke with NVIDIA AI Podcast host Noah Kravitz about his decade-long journey creating Dr.Fill and where he envisions it going in the future.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Ginsberg partnered with UC Berkeley’s natural language processing team. By combining their code bases, Dr.Fill outperformed the human competitors at this year’s tournament.
- Dr.Fill performs better on unthemed rather than themed puzzles. This is where the natural language group comes into play, helping Dr.Fill interpret clues and difficult crossword themes.
“I’m looking forward to the crossword tournament next year because I know we’re going to be working hard to make the program better.” — Matt Ginsberg [11:02]
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