It Looks Like You're Trying To Draw A Ladder. Would You Like Help With That?


AutodrawIf you're a long-time user of Microsoft Office you might remember the awful "Clippy" feature that used to be part of the product. Clippy was a cartoon character in the shape of a paperclip (which, incidentally, is known in French as a trombone. Isn't that neat?)

As soon as you started typing "Dear " at the top of a page, Clippy would spring into life and exclaim "It looks like you're typing a letter. Would you like some help with that?". No one ever knew what would happen if you answered yes, because the feature was so annoying that nobody every wanted to click the button and find out. The feature was eventually dropped.

The other day, however, I stumbled across an intriguing online app. It's a drawing and painting app which runs in your browser so there's nothing to download or install. There are plenty of such systems around, of course, but what makes so incredibly interesting is that it features a Clippy-like feature. Start drawing something and, as you do so, a list of suggested items appears on the top menu bar. The more you draw, the more the list of suggestions is refined. Click on one of them, and your scrawl is replaced by a much better version.

Autodraw is, if nothing else, a very capable and run online-based drawing and painting app that's fun to use. But with this level of artificial intelligence added on top, it's very clever and fascinating. Try it. See how quickly it recognises, or fails to recognise, what you're trying to draw.

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Worth pointing out that it works very, very well on my mobile device (Android phone running Chrome browser).

Screenshot here:

There's no "Clippy" that pops up. Have a look in the toolbar near the top of the screen, that shows you what it thinks you were trying to draw. As shown in the screen shot I posted.

Thanks, Rob; it wasn't until after I made the post and reread your article a third time, to see if I missed something, which I kinda did, that I realized what the bar at the top of the page was for. As I stated I received no suggestion that closely resembled what I was trying to draw, but that could possibly be because I'm a terrible artist. Not an artistic bone in my body; some creative bones, but no artistic.

It's a good site if you know how to draw. I learned that I'm no better at drawing on a computer than I am on paper with pencil or pen. In fact, on the computer, I'm worse. And I saw no Clippy and the suggestions I got were nowhere near what I was trying to draw; not a ladder.