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Can YOU Solve The ‘100 Hat Riddle’ Used In Google Interviews? Google’s Artificial Intelligence Can


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There is enough technology to go around these days. As we experience advancements in technology each day from big names like Google, one does wonder if the Artificial Intelligence system by Google can qualify for a job offered by Google. Surly, you can not rule out that possibility. An algorithm by Google Deepmind has the ability to answer a rather famous riddle called the 100 hat riddle. Just so you know, the riddle in question needs a person to possess a great amount of problem solving and lateral thinking. Interestingly, the same riddle was asked of interviewees at Goldman Sachs.

To put this into context, let us share the 100 hat riddle with you:

“An executioner lines up 100 prisoners single file and puts a red or a blue hat on each prisoner’s head. Every prisoner can see the hats of the people in front of him in the line – but not his own hat, nor those of anyone behind him. [There is also an unknown number of red or blue hats]

The executioner starts at the end (back) and asks the last prisoner the colour of his hat. He must answer “red” or “blue.” If he answers correctly, he is allowed to live. If he gives the wrong answer, he is killed instantly and silently. While everyone hears the answer, no one knows whether an answer was right.

On the night before the line-up, the prisoners confer on a strategy to help them. What should they do?”

100 hat riddle

All of the prisoners in the riddle were known to be independent from each another. Though, they must work together and better communicate in order to save their lives. There is a solution to the riddle which can save 99 out of 100 prisoners with one of them having half a chance of survival. They must first plan the queue in a way that determines if there is an even or odd number of a colour of hats.

For instance, the first one says blue to suggest that there is an even amount of blue coloured hats ahead or even say red to suggest that the number of blue hats is an odd figure. Using this information, the others could determine the colour of their hats as they find out the amount of even and odd hats remaining in front of them. In case this is too tough to understand, it’s understandable. The complexity of this riddle goes to show the high level of data deep neural networks are able to process. Imagine artificial intelligence systems working those out within mere seconds.

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Hassan Aftab

You can find Hassan on , and .


4 Comments to Can YOU Solve The ‘100 Hat Riddle’ Used In Google Interviews? Google’s Artificial Intelligence Can

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  2. bush jesus

    agree that speaking in a high tone denotes red for the next guy & a low tone denotes blue. First guy guesses his colour has 50% chance, he speaks his chosen colour in a hi tone if the next guy hat is red or visa versa, & so on…

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