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Magic Tricks Created ­sing Artificial Intelligence for the First Time

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A magician's hat and wand.

Artificial intelligence researchers have taught a computer to devise magic tricks.


Queen Mary, University of London artificial intelligence (AI) researchers have taught a computer to create magic tricks.

"While a member of the audience might have seen a variation on this trick before, the AI can now use psychological and mathematical principles to create lots of different versions and keep audiences guessing," says Queen Mary researcher Howard Williams.

For example, the magic jigsaw puzzle involves assembling the pieces to show a series of shapes, then taking it apart and reassembling it so the shapes have disappeared using a geometric principle. This type of trick involves several simultaneous factors, such as the size of the puzzle, the number of pieces involved, the number of shapes that appear and disappear, and the ways the puzzle can be arranged.

For the mind-reading card trick, a computer was used to arrange the decks in such a way that a specific card could be identified with the least amount of information possible.

"Using AI to create magic tricks is a great way to demonstrate the possibilities of computer intelligence and it also forms a part of our research into the psychology of being a spectator," says Queen Mary professor Peter McOwan.

From Queen Mary, University of London
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