Did you spot the real fish?


Thank you very much to all of you for playing our 'Fish Turing Test'. We have had thousands of players for all over the world. The map below shows the locations of the people who have tried to tell the difference between real and simulated fish.


If you played the game, then you already know if you could spot the difference or not. If you got 6 out of 6 there is a pretty good chance that you know your fish from a simulated particle. But how did the average person perform?


We were quite surprised at the results. It turns out that the average score from the all the attempts to play the game was 3.09 out of 6. Not much better than random! This is good news for us, since it shows that our simulations are pretty realistic. But it also means that our simulations managed to fool most of you.


While we can fool some of the people some of the time, we can't fool all of the people all of the time. Several researchers on Twitter claimed that they got 6 out of 6. And our data supports that claim. The grey histogram below shows scores over all attempts. We also compare this to a binomial distribution (the blue line), which would have occurred if guesses were entirely random.


This analysis shows that the guesses were not entirely random. In particular, there was a small number of clever people who reliably got 6 out of 6. There were also almost as many people who reliably got 0 out of 6!


Zero isn't as bad as it sounds. Indeed, both the 0 and 6 scores show that a good number of people can spot a difference. It is just that sometimes they conclude that simulations look more real than reality.


With that in mind, we now have a new challenge. We have added a function to our game for those of you who think you can get 6 out of 6. Play the game again, and when you get 6 out of 6, you will get an information box. We would love it if you could fill in how you did it. How did you spot the difference between the fish? What cues did you use? Tell us how you could spot the difference and help us improve our simulations. It is all a contribution to fishy science.