Pictionary Vs. AI takes the guesswork (AKA the fun part) out of the classic board game

The new version of the game sees human players drawing while the AI guesses what is, using Google’s Quick, Draw! data set.

29 September 2023

Mattel’s classic family board game Pictionary has been given the AI treatment with Pictionary Vs. AI, a new version that sees artificial intelligence guessing what the human players are drawing. Like the original, players take a card with a word on it and attempt to draw that thing, but then instead of having other players yelling random guesses at you across the room, the players have to scan a QR code on their phone to trigger the AI to start guessing. It’s possible wrong guesses could be equally funny coming from a computer… but it seems unlikely. You win and move forward on the board when the AI guesses right, or – more interestingly –  if you guess whether the AI will get it right or not.

The game uses Google’s Quick, Draw! data set, built from millions of user-submitted doodles. The machine learning research project looked to find out whether a neural network could learn to recognise doodling, and asked people around the world to add drawings based on simple prompts, eg. Draw a cat in under 20 seconds. The data set, always intended to be publicly shared, is now the basis for the new Mattel game. Mattel has also addressed the controversy over the copyright of imagery used in many AI data sets, saying that the AI can only recognise images from the preset database – therefore players are safe in the knowledge their artwork won’t become part of the AI’s further training.

Mattel launched the game at the 2023 Code Conference, and will be available to buy from 2 October.

GalleryMattel: Pictionary Vs. AI (Copyright © Mattel, 2023)

Hero Header

Mattel: Pictionary Vs. AI (Copyright © Mattel, 2023)

Share Article

About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.