User login

Artificial Intelligence: The Intelligent Piece of Paper

Source Institutions

    Computer Science Unplugged

Add to listGo to activity
Artificial Intelligence: The Intelligent Piece of Paper

This activity explores what it means for a computer to be intelligent and introduces the topic of what a computer program is and how everything computers do simply involves following instructions written by (creative) computer programmers. Learners interact with a piece of paper that contains rules for playing a perfect game of noughts-and-crosses (tic-tac-toe). The activity contains some thought provoking (and humorous) discussion questions. Explanation, variations, extensions, and resources are included in the PDF.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
      • Computer Science
      • Information Systems
      • Information Technology
    • Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Probability
    • Problem Solving
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology

Informal Categories

  • Computers
  • Games


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Curzon, Paul


Funding Sources:

  • Brian Mason Scientific and Technical Trust
  • Google Inc.


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: