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Developer(s) three French programmers led by RedstoneSpecial
Publisher(s) Elokenceo
Engine Limule
Release 2007
Genre(s) Twenty Questions
Mode(s) Single-player

Akinator, the Web Genie is an internet game and mobile app based on Twenty Questions that attempts to determine which character the player is thinking of by asking them a series of questions. It is an artificial intelligence program that can find and learn the best questions to ask the player. Created by three French programmers led by RedstoneSpecial in 2007, it became popular worldwide in November 2008, according to Google Trends. In Europe popularity peak was reached in 2009 and Japan in 2010 with the launch of mobile apps by French mobile company SCIMOB,[1] reaching highest ranks on app store[2] . While playing "Akinator", questions are asked by a cartoon genie.


In order to begin the questionnaire, the user must hit the play button and think of a popular character (musician, athlete, political personality, actor, fictional film/TV character, Internet personality, etc.). It then begins asking a series of questions (as much as required), with "Yes", "No", "Probably", "Probably not" and "Don't know" as possible answers, in order to narrow down the potential character.[3][4] If the answer is narrowed down to a single likely option before 25 questions are asked, the program will automatically ask if the character it chose is correct. If the character is guessed wrong three times in a row, then the program will prompt the user to input the character's name, in order to expand its database of choices.[5] It predicts the answer based on the tree match algorithm. AKI AWARDS can be rewarded for guessing a new Character.[citation needed] After a new update, the user is able to purchase accessories for the genie with money obtained in-game.

In the first 20 questions alone, there are about 1,048,576 combinations.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

L'Express rated Akinator a 5 out of 5 on their list of iPhone Apps of the Week for September 9, 2009.[7] Excite France stated that Akinator "is just that interactive. It is revolutionary, attractive, and entertaining."[8]


  1. ^ Akinator Mobile Apps | SCIMOB (10/09/2009)
  2. ^ Akinator - Daily Ranks | App Annie (10/05/2011)
  3. ^ Jen Chaney (August 3, 2010). "Summer time waster: Stumping the Akinator". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Akinator, el genio que leerá tu mente". Medio Tiempo (in Spanish). October 19, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  5. ^ "アップ・スウェル、『Akinator』のモバイルサイトの提供を開始". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). July 21, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ Sheets, Connor (18 December 2013). "How Does Akinator Work? Behind The Genie That 'Reads Your Mind'". International Business Times. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Paybuddy, Stand o'food et Akinator". L'Express (in French). September 9, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Akinator, vraiment le plus fort!". Excite France (in French). November 23, 2008. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 

External links[edit]