Scientists teach computer legerdemain

levitationArtificial intelligence reached its zenith today after researchers at Queen Mary University of London taught a computer to create magic tricks.

The computer’s even been clever enough to create a card trick called Phoney which is available in the Google Play Store.

According to the scientists, they wrote a computer program to show how magic jigsaw puzzles and mind reading card trick works, along with a database showing how humans understand magic tricks.

But, the researchers point out, the magic trick created by the computer doesn’t use prestidigitation but rather uses mathematic techniques, which are, apparently, a core part of many conjurors’ stage acts.

Howard Williams, who co-created the project, said that AI can use psychological and mathematical principles to “create lots of different versions and keep audiences guessing”.  Its stage presence might need a little tweaking.

Professor Peter McOwan, a member of the team, said: “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.”

At press time we searched the Google Play Store for Phoney but only found Phoney Girlfriend from Baller Industries.  We suspect this isn’t the app QMUL means…