Sheesh, I wish I knew enough about coding to really make sense of the many examples in “Easy AI with Python”. I’m happy about the little I know concerning Bash-scripting and Perl, without this my cut-up-twitter-experiment couldn’t even have been dreamt of. But back to AI + Python. I was surprised to learn that all it takes to recreate a Mastermind-like-game is 30 lines of code:

``````
import random
from itertools import izip, imap
digits = 4
fmt = '%0' + str(digits) + 'd'
searchspace = tuple([tuple(map(int,fmt % i)) for i in
range(0,10**digits)])
def compare(a, b, map=imap, sum=sum, zip=izip, min=min):
count1 =  * 10
count2 =  * 10
strikes = 0
for dig1, dig2 in zip(a,b):
if dig1 == dig2:
strikes += 1
count1[dig1] += 1
count2[dig2] += 1
balls = sum(map(min, count1, count2)) - strikes
return (strikes, balls)

def rungame(target, strategy, maxtries=15):
possibles = list(searchspace)
for i in xrange(maxtries):
g = strategy(i, possibles)
print "Out of %7d possibilities. I'll guess %r" % (len(possibles), g),
score = compare(g, target)
print ' ---> ', score
if score == digits:
print "That's it. After %d tries, I won." % (i+1,)
break
possibles = [n for n in possibles if compare(g, n) == score]
return i+1

def s_allrand(i, possibles):
'Simple strategy that randomly chooses one remaining possibility'
return random.choice(possibles)
hiddencode = (4, 3, 3, 7)
rungame(hiddencode, s_allrand)
``````

Take a look at the slides to learn about simple neural nets, a solution-finder to the Eight queens puzzle, or ways to create Sudoku- and Sliding-Block-style-games. Apparently it’s easy to understand and great for teaching Python. I’ll give it a try this weekend, I predict lots of FAIL and burning eyes from staring at spaghetti-code. (The picture above was taken in Berlin, near Görlitzer Bahnhof)