I wanted to create something like 20 questions that was oriented towards kids - with questions kids would understand and relate to.

What it does

There are two ways to play: (1) You pick the word (the "thing") and Alexa tries to guess what it it is by asking yes/no questions. (2) Alexa picks a word and provides facts about it and you see if you can guess what the thing is.

How I built it

node.js and mysql, with a little php for handing the database services needed.

Challenges I ran into

Open-ended recognition on Alexa is troublesome if not constrained. To get acceptable recognition of any "thing" I needed to structure a limited "thing" vocabulary list and tie that to the "new thing" intent.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The guessing algorithm is pretty accurate. It will take some time to build up the answer database to make it truly effective.

What I learned

How to analyze question options to eliminate the highest number of invalid "thing candidates".

What's next for Thing Guesser

More data and more engaging dialog.

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