Well, today is my misfortune to be slapped across the metaphorical cheeks with another one of sunteam’s submissions. According to the author, Thinking Brain is “possibly the most advanced AI ever written“. I think the most important word to cling to in this statement is “possibly”. It is not however without at least one attribute that you would normally associate with greatness: “anticipation”.
The initial load displays a rather impressive loading screen titled “THE AMAZING THINKING BRAIN” and the enticing phrase “PRESS ANY KEY TO BE AMAZED”. OK, good so far, let’s see where this leads. Well, it leads to a reasonably colourful page basically plugging itself as an advanced AI that would pass the Turing Test and a warning to use with care. Another prompt for a key press leads to …
… another loading screen. This time of a mad scientist just slightly too passionately embracing a round bottomed flash, and another prompt to continue. “OK, stay with it” my inner optimist hails. More plug. More anticipation. Slightly more scepticism. American info-mercials start to come to mind at this point. Next is yet another screen…
A brain this time with a neuron insert. A decent graphic in all. Another screen about Neurons and another random splattering of random noises. Our final graphic is Arnold Schwarzenegger in what is presumably one of the Terminator movies.
Again, very well put together with decent colour to add. One final screen of text keeps us from the bounty for which we seek.
And so we get to the program itself. Presumably, a sudden cash flow crisis meant that colour had to be stripped from program development at this point, however we are still sold the myth that the program will “will simulate and replicate human language with 100% accuracy” and “YOU CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE”. Pressing the final key to begin, presents you with a blank screen asking for an “Input statement” where you get to enter (presumably), a statement, a jest, a verse of prose maybe or even the complete works of Shakespeare. Whichever you chose, I will leave you to try for yourself to see if you think this program delivers on all that it promises!
If it wasn’t for pretty decent lead-in screens and the fact that the plug screens are well laid out, with good spelling, grammar and layout, and a splash of colour to add, this game could have been a whole lot more crappier. Even the occasional sound phrases which pop out over 30 seconds or so are certainly no worse than mediocre. One “almost” saving grace is the fact that sunteam has once again published this what-ever-it-is on +3 .dsk even though I was able to run the hacked .tap version straight off of my 16K Spectrum. What is the +3 bells and whistles in that?
As a result, I doubt this program will be top of the CGC listings. Try again sunteam! … Or not! 😉