March 2, 2024 Your Source for Brentwood News

Brentwood Beat: Brentwood Student Behind AI-Driven “Depicto” Game App

I’m always impressed by all the creativity we have here in Brentwood.  Everyone, it seems, is working on something cool – a new startup, a screenplay, a new nonprofit. 

It has been a pleasure to be able to report on all this ingenuity over the years.

Just recently, I learned of “Depicto,” a mobile app game developed by Andrew Wesel of Brentwood.  

While a junior at Harvard-Westlake, Andrew participated in a “hackathon” and came up with the idea for Depicto.  

Aided by Sam Pulaski, a fellow student at Harvard-Westlake, Mike McGinley, an entrepreneur and teacher at Harvard Westlake, and Greg Kucsan, a professional iOS developer, Andrew released Depicto in April of 2023.

Depicto starts by showing an image produced using AI.  Players are supposed to guess which two-word phrase was used to generate the image.  

The two-word phrases are usually a simple combination of words used widely. They can also be a pun or a play on words. 

The images get posted in the app, and then the user makes educated guesses as to what the original two-word phrase behind the graphic is.

Andrew said Depicto is kind of like “Wordle,” only it is AI-generated images, and not letters, that get the game started.  

In my first try playing Depicto, I saw an image of a guy working late at night at his desk.  There was a window behind the gentleman.  It was dark outside, but the moon was shining, revealing an oil rig off in the distance.

Can you guess what the two-word phrase was?

Right away, I said, “Midnight Oil!” 

Andrew said he was surprised I was so quick with my answer. He said this particular quiz usually stumps people for a while.  

It just came to me. What can I say?

Feeling cocky, I tried the second Depicto of the day.  

The next image I saw was a pig – from behind.  I tried several guesses and finally gave up, humbled.  My beginner’s luck had run out quickly. 

Andrew said he was surprised again.  He said this particular quiz is one people usually figure out pretty quickly.  

Andrew told me the phrase was “piggyback” – and right away, I felt dumb: OF COURSE it was “piggyback”!

Andrew Wesel and Sam Pulaski at the Harvard-Westlake Hackathon. 

The goal of the game is to identify the two-word phrase in as few guesses as possible.  Clues can be obtained along the way, and the user gets six tries. 

Andrew and his team just added a new feature, making the game less of a solo pastime, and more of a competition, with scorekeeping. The group will soon implement an official leaderboard to compare your scores with those of your friends.

We have a winner!

To learn more, go to Depicto’s website, depicto.ai.  An extensive description of the app’s features is available at the app store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/depicto/id6446225252.

Depicto has received 53 five-star ratings on the App Store so far. 

When he’s not working on Depicto, Andrew participates in Lincoln-Douglas debates and science competitions.  In his free time, he enjoys running, biking, cooking, and reading.

Anyone got another interesting story I should cover? Email me at jeffhall@mirrormediagroupla.com

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