We're really excited to launch a new AI-generated quiz game, Five! Each day, the AI curates five questions with five hints to help you guess the answer. The fewer hints you need, the higher your score.

If you read our blog regularly, you'll know that we're finding new uses for AI every day. We wanted to explore whether it was possible to get an AI text generation tool like ChatGPT to come up with interesting and varied trivia questions, and out of this research was born our new game: Five.

How to play Five

Five is a daily quiz game. Each day everyone across the world gets the same five questions, which are AI-generated. First, read the category for this question - in orange at the top of the screen - in the example below the category is books. Then read the first hint on a pink background. Now you can make a guess at the answer by starting to type in the white response field. When you start typing the answer, you'll see a list of all the possible answers in the game, ever. If your answer isn't in that list, it's not the right answer.

 You'll either be correct - well done! - or incorrect in which case you'll get the next hint and another try. All the hints are written by AI, which generally does a great job but occasionally goes off on a tangent or includes strange information. This is part of the fun! Because everyone gets the same hints every day, we're all in this together. 

Well done! You got it in the end. Once you've answered the five questions for today, you'll see a summary of your score and the average from players around the world. 

At the bottom of the results page is a leaderboard that shows the highest scores for players today, and highest scores for this month overall. Your name is highlighted in orange - when you first start playing, the system assigns you a random name which you can change. 

Intrigued and want to give it a go?

Play Five

 

If you're interested in how we're using AI tools to generate the hints, read on!

 

Prompt text

Under the hood, we've developed a series of text prompts that help the AI know what kind of information we'd like to see in the hints. Here we're going to break down the prompt text line by line so that you can see how the hints are created and what we've learned along the way. Here's an example prompt to generate hints for the answer Algeria. It's pretty long and complicated but I'm going to break it down in a minute:

 

You are a world-class expert in trivia. We are making a game where people have to guess an item based on hints that you will create. All hints must be factual, do not make up facts. Give me five hints in JSON format with the keys hint1, hint2, hint3, hint4, hint5. Hint 1 must be very hard indeed - it should be very difficult to guess the answer from hint 1. Each hint should get slightly easier, so hint 5 is fairly easy. Do not include the answer in any of the hints. Write in an interesting, engaging, simple style that is easy to understand and make each hint no longer than 100 characters long. Describe the hints in simple terms using British English. Do not repeat information from one hint to another. When you finish writing the hints, make sure that the name of the answer is not in any of the hints. If it is, start again. Finally, add two more JSON keys: passed and failed. Passed should be a short (<10 words) message congratulating the player on correctly guessing the answer, and failed should be a short (<10 words) saying that they've run out of hints. Include an emoji at the start of the passed and failed hints. Start the first hint with the phrase: This country. Subsequent hints should start: It. Include the name of the capital city in a hint. Include any important historical events that have taken place in this country. For islands, include the name of the sea or ocean surrounding the island. For all other countries, include the name of the continent. If that country has hosted or won the FIFA world cup or other major sporting events, include the year in a hint. Maybe include the country's national sport if it's well-known. The category is: Countries and the item is: Algeria. 

 

Prompt text breakdown

The prompt text is listed line by line in italics, with our explanation below that. We have written different prompt text for different categories, but this gives you an idea of how it looks:

 

You are a world-class expert in trivia. We are making a game where people have to guess an item based on hints that you will create.

It's important to start your prompt with an explanation of the role that you're putting the AI into. Telling it that it's a world-class expert in whatever really does seem to produce better results!

 

All hints must be factual, do not make up facts.

This is critical if you're looking to get real-world information back from AI systems. I've lost count of the number of times I've had a conversation with ChatGPT about something and only realised halfway through that it's just making up answers. 

 

Give me five hints in JSON format with the keys hint1, hint2, hint3, hint4, hint5.

This dictates the output format that the AI will give (more info about JSON here), and it's important because we need to be able to parse this information and send it to our database. If you don't specify a rigid output format, you'll get a mix of styles - sometimes it will use bullet points, sometimes a numbered list. Tell it exactly how you want the information to be returned and you'll get a higher quality of output. 

 

Hint 1 must be very hard indeed - it should be very difficult to guess the answer from hint 1. Each hint should get slightly easier, so hint 5 is fairly easy.

I'm surprised this works so well, I honestly didn't expect it to be able to understand the relative difficulty of the hints it generates. 

 

Do not include the answer in any of the hints.

In early trials, we found it was often giving away the answer in the hints. For example, when writing hints for the HG Wells novel The Time Machine, it wrote "The author of this book originated the idea of a time machine". Er, thanks.

 

Write in an interesting, engaging, simple style that is easy to understand and make each hint no longer than 100 characters long.

If you've ever used ChatGPT you'll know that by default it has a very flowery, verbose style. This phrase makes it a little more succinct. 

 

Describe the hints in simple terms using British English.

By default, it'll use American spelling and terms. 

 

Do not repeat information from one hint to another.

We added this because it sometimes repeats information, which doesn't help people guess the answer. 

 

Finally, add two more JSON keys: passed and failed. Passed should be a short (<10 words) message congratulating the player on correctly guessing the answer, and failed should be a short (<10 words) saying that they've run out of hints. Include an emoji at the start of the passed and failed hints. 

Early rounds of the game has the same "You guessed it!" or "You ran out of hints!" end messages. This makes the AI generate slightly different messages for each question, which make the game feel more alive. 

 

Start the first hint with the phrase: This country. Subsequent hints should start: It.

This was included based on early user testing, where people didn't read the category title and were confused about what kind of thing they were trying to guess. This prompt makes it clear exactly what the clue relates to. 

 

Finally, there are four sentences that guide the AI about what kind of information we'd like to see in the hints, and these vary a lot between categories. These are based on early user testing where people were giving feedback that they wanted more hints about sporting events or geography.

Include the name of the capital city in a hint. Include any important historical events that have taken place in this country.

For islands, include the name of the sea or ocean surrounding the island. For all other countries, include the name of the continent.

If that country has hosted or won the FIFA world cup or other major sporting events, include the year in a hint.

Maybe include the country's national sport if it's well-known. 

This last phrase shows the power of the AI system that's producing the hints - we're letting it decide whether a sport is well-known enough to be included in a hint. 

 

The generated hints

And here are the five hints that it output for Algeria:

  1. It's the tenth largest country by area in the world.
  2. It has remnants of various ancient civilizations, including the Berbers and Romans, scattered throughout its land.
  3. Its national animal is the fennec fox, indigenous to the Sahara desert.
  4. It shares the majority of its borders with Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya.
  5. It is the largest country in Africa and the official language is Arabic.

I think it's done a pretty good job here - the hints are definitely getting easier one by one. It's chosen to ignore my requests to include the capital city and the sea - maybe it thinks that gives the answer away? Who knows, one of the major issues with this kind of technology is that you can't analyse why it made the decisions it made. The other important thing to note is that if you give it exactly the same prompt again, it'll return different results. Here's what the second set of hints for Algeria returned:

  1. This country's southernmost point lies in the inhospitable Tropic of Cancer.
  2. It holds a significant position in North Africa and in the continent as a whole.
  3. The historic city of Algiers is its bustling capital.
  4. The year 1962 saw its liberation from colonial rule.
  5. Football is not just a game here, it's a national passion.

 

Summary

This is a fun example of how to use AI tools in real-life applications. If you're interested in how we can help your business or organisation make the best of use of AI, get in touch today.

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