After an early February surge of popularity, HQuack, the website which posted answers for HQ Trivia questions with an approximated 82% accuracy, has flown south for winter. The creator of the trivia-answering bot, Jake Mor, pulled down HQuack’s primary functions on Friday, just three days subsequent to an unprecedented 9,046 users successfully answering all 12 of HQ Trivia’s questions.
In a self-published Medium post, Mor said that initially, “It was fun to build something that went viral”, beginning as a program on Mor’s laptop. The fun, however, was short-lived once HQuack’s daily site traffic exploded from 1,000 users/week to 11,000 users/day. The rapid expansion largely stems from an article written by The Outline, a story picked up by outlets such as BuzzFeed and Complex as well.
On February 6th, following significant media coverage, HQuack correctly predicted 11 of 12 trivia questions for HQ Trivia’s afternoon game, resulting in a $0.28 payout for the thousands of winners. Later that night, the improbable happened: HQuack repeated it’s 11 for 12 performance—this time resulting in an $0.89. HQ Trivia experienced an influx of over 8,000 winners.
Mor grappled with an ethical dilemma, wondering, “at what point was HQuack just ruining someone’s startup?” He decided to take the bot offline, thus ending the AI support for smartphone gamers everywhere. For a minute it reigned as the latest in a trend of algorithm-based learning trumping human intelligence—HQuack to HQ Trivia was the Watson to Jeopardy’s Ken Jennings, the Deep Blue to chess’s Kasparov. Now, it occupies a nebulous promise from Mor, as the website simply reads: