An AI a Day Keeps Dr.Fill at Play: Matt Ginsberg on Building GPU-Powered Crossword Solver | The Official NVIDIA Blog



9 Down, 14 letters: Someone skilled in creating and solving crossword puzzles.

This April, the fastest “cruciverbalist” at the ​​American Crossword Puzzle Tournament was Dr.Fill, a crossword puzzle-solving AI program created by Matt Ginsberg.

Dr.Fill perfectly solved the championship puzzle in 49 seconds. The first human champion, Tyler Hinman, filled the 15×15 crossword in exactly three minutes.

Though Ginsberg has published crossword puzzles for the New York Times, he has trouble solving puzzles, even his own. After attending a crossword tournament over a decade ago, Ginsberg decided to create a crossword-solving program to compete against top-tier word nerds.

Ginsberg spoke with NVIDIA AI Podcast host Noah Kravitz about his decade-long journey creating Dr.Fill and where he envisions it going in the future.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Ginsberg partnered with UC Berkeley’s natural language processing team. By combining their code bases, Dr.Fill outperformed the human competitors at this year’s tournament.
  • Dr.Fill performs better on unthemed rather than themed puzzles. This is where the natural language group comes into play, helping Dr.Fill interpret clues and difficult crossword themes.

Tweetables:

“I’m looking forward to the crossword tournament next year because I know we’re going to be working hard to make the program better.” — Matt Ginsberg [11:02]

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