Using artificial intelligence to create magic tricks

A recent article in the scholarly journal Frontiers in Psychology describes the use of computers to create new variations on magic tricks.

Here we focus on applying Artificial Intelligence methods to the creation and optimization of magic tricks exploiting mathematical principles. We use experimentally derived data about particular perceptual and cognitive features, combined with a model of the underlying mathematical process to provide a psychologically valid metric to allow optimization of magical impact. In the paper we introduce our optimization methodology and describe how it can be flexibly applied to a range of different types of mathematics based tricks. We also provide two case studies as exemplars of the methodology at work: a magical jigsaw, and a mind reading card trick effect. We evaluate each trick created through testing in laboratory and public performances, and further demonstrate the real world efficacy of our approach for professional performers through sales of the tricks in a reputable magic shop in London.

Magic in the machine: a computational magician’s assistant

The team also maintains a blog, where two tricks created by artificial intelligence techniques can be downloaded.

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