Burned into its 8-bit chip is a neural net that has been learning for 17 years. Inventor Robin Burgener programmed a simple neural net on a DOS machine 1988. He taught it 20 questions about a cat. He than passed the program around to friends on a floppy and had them challenge the neural net with their yes/no answers to the object they had in mind. The neural net learns only when it plays a game; no data is added except for the yes/no answers of visitors. So the more people who test it, the more they teach it. In 1995 Burgener put the now robust neural net onto the new web where anyone could play it (that is, train it) 24 hours a day. And they did. Burgener's genius was to turn the hard tedious work of training a neural net into a fun game for humans.
Last year, after 1 million rounds of 20 questions online, the neural net had accumulated 10 million synaptic associations. It has a 73% success rate of guessing what you thought. Burgener then compressed the 20Q code to run on a chip, and had the neural net select 2,000 of the most popular 10,000 objects it then knew about. He then had the neural net select out the most useful 250,000 synaptic connections related to those 2,000 objects, and hard wired that learning into the chip in the orb. In other words, this sphere is a handheld version of Burgener's Twenty Questions web site: http://20q.net/. (Because it knows about fewer objects than the web version, it gets confused less often, so its success rate is ironically higher.)