The Last Great Artificial Intelligence Challenge, by Gordon Lawrie

After Go and chess, AI moved onto Sizzle, the board-game played with super-hot naga chillis and straight faces. Players tell jokes; opponents who laugh consume the chillis.

For the long-awaited contest with Sizzle world champion Sharon Wilson, BlueSkyThinking™ learned every joke ever told, meanwhile inventing new ones. Rehearsing, it had sent Russian star Alexei Markov to hospital with “Why did the chicken cross the motorway?”

But Wilson was ready. On move eighty-one she played a stunning eleven-chilli pentagram, throwing rhubarb pies at the computer’s face. Prepared only for custard, BlueSkyThinking™ blew a fuse. Wilson was carried shoulder-high from the arena.

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