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AI

Magic Tricks Created Using Artificial Intelligence For the First Time 77

An anonymous reader writes Researchers working on artificial intelligence at Queen Mary University of London have taught a computer to create magic tricks. The researchers gave a computer program the outline of how a magic jigsaw puzzle and a mind reading card trick work, as well the results of experiments into how humans understand magic tricks, and the system created completely new variants on those tricks which can be delivered by a magician.
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Magic Tricks Created Using Artificial Intelligence For the First Time

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  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Monday November 17, 2014 @11:02AM (#48402321)
    Next trick - Earth disappearing into a black hole at the bottom of the magician's hat.

    Maybe we shouldn't ask AI things like these?
    • "Ask" is a bit generous. Almost every AI thing like this is the same:
      1. Devise a language to describe the broad kind of thing you want(in this case board elements, and instructions to the tricked person).
      2. Show the AI some working examples
      3. Show the AI some non-working examples
      4. Let the inferred characteristics come up.

      Every time AI comes up on slashdot, this kind of magical thinking comes up, where an AI becomes capable of the extraordinary after accomplishing something specific and ordinary.

      All th

      • Indeed, AI is a positively abused term. I wonder if they will manage to construct an AI that
        can determine if some research is really AI or just statistics on some specific subject.

      • Re:Next trick (Score:5, Insightful)

        by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday November 17, 2014 @12:04PM (#48403009) Journal
        After the AI winter, the field has really gone downhill.

        Since professors still need to publish, they created a distinction between 'strong AI' and 'weak AI.' For some people, this was fine and yielded useful algorithms (but not AI), but largely it's a way to get published without doing anything substantial. Like this study, for example.
      • How about we start by defining non-artificial intelligence. Is that the same as natural intelligence? Can we even define intelligence? To do so, we'd also have to define free will (since decision-making strictly by algorithms has no free will, and no innate intelligence).
        • It's a bit like defining any other relatively common, complex idea. Any definition you come up with will miss some important details, until it's ballooned in complexity to be as complex as the field you're trying to "help" in the first place.

          For a simpler case, imagine defining "car", and getting involved in an intense debate about the relevance of the internal combustion engine's history before you're done.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

          Can we even define intelligence?

          Yes, to anyone but those who would ask such a question. One could presume they'd reject any and all answers that could be given here.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        AI is any computer program that can write a smarter version of itself. At least, that's the requirement in most sci-fi.
  • Why am I picturing Uniblab saying "Pick a card. Any card."
  • I remember doing this middle school. I was always baffled when other students couldn't grasp what was happening the moment I came to say "Now subtract your original number" or something similarly back-referential and how it stole their choices from them.

    They weren't hard to come up with, especially once your framework was established.

    • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

      Actually a website that does this tricked someone I know recently. I was actually engaged in a card game when they came up to me exclaiming this website could do math with the numbers in her head, and it worked every time.

      It took me about 20 seconds to figure out what was going on, and even despite suggesting "why don't you try again, write out each step" and then "try it again with X for your number, and write out each step", still more than 20 minutes to get them to see what was going on.

  • Now skynet can BORE us to death!
    Thanks Science.
  • it's a variant of theorem proving and relation finding exercise in prolog / horn's clause
  • It's not especially difficult to get a computer to do some math. Get a computer to shuffle a deck of cards and I'll be a thousand times more impressed.

  • by SirMasterboy ( 872152 ) on Monday November 17, 2014 @11:35AM (#48402641) Homepage

    A trick is something a whore does for money...

  • Great plot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Monday November 17, 2014 @11:39AM (#48402685)

    AI is made to invent magic tricks.
    AI starts creating more and more complex magic tricks.
    Magician stops understanding the tricks but keeps following the given steps and is as surprised as the audience about the result.
    After a while, the AI starts giving really strange steps and it becomes clear that there is no explanation in current science that justifies the results of the tricks.
    Humanity has meddled with incomprehensible forces, awakening He who was never dead.

    • Re:Great plot (Score:4, Informative)

      by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Monday November 17, 2014 @12:09PM (#48403069)

      AI is made to invent magic tricks.
      AI starts creating more and more complex magic tricks.
      Magician stops understanding the tricks but keeps following the given steps and is as surprised as the audience about the result.
      After a while, the AI starts giving really strange steps and it becomes clear that there is no explanation in current science that justifies the results of the tricks.
      Humanity has meddled with incomprehensible forces, awakening He who was never dead.

      When the "AI" can invent magic tricks outside of the basic programming, then I'll be scared.

      Basically, they programmed in one trick and then programmed it to compute more variations of the trick. Not much different than programming a computer to fill out a matrix based on the calculations for a single square.

      We'll know that we have a true AI when it can go from calculating new card tricks to counting cards in Vegas.....

      • by tekrat ( 242117 )

        Counting cards in Vegas is already terribly simple. Robots would never be allowed in a casino.

        • Counting cards in Vegas is already terribly simple. Robots would never be allowed in a casino.

          Yes, but the point is when you have something truly intelligent, it should be able to learn completely new things. Hence, when we have an AI which was only programmed with unrelated knowledge (like card tricks), but it can figure out the necessary -- even simple -- ideas to count cards in a casino simply due to its supposedly "intelligent" algorithms, it would have demonstrated true adaptability, I.e. intelligence.

      • http://www.damninteresting.com... [damninteresting.com]

        There's some magic tricks outside of the basic programming for you. Paper is linked in there or easily searchable, and is quite interesting.

        And yes, there might be reason to start to get concerned. Disruptive changes happen quickly. Eventually, we will be the ones disrupted..

  • I just watched Colossus: The Forbin Project, and lets not teach AI anything more please!
    • Why? If an AI can be created that can do a better job running the world than human governments do, why shouldn't we let it? And honestly, doing a better job than human run governments isn't setting that high of a bar.
  • When Bristlebane hears what the gnomes have been up to he's gonna be pissed. Clockwork magicians indeed!

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Monday November 17, 2014 @12:55PM (#48403605) Journal

    The first thing you want to teach an AI is "how to trick humans"?

    Is that really smart?

  • "Damn! The pod bay doors have been open the whole time. Very clever Hal, but I'm still gonna yank your chips......hey, where did the chips go?"

  • I can see many things wrong with the idea. Are you a machine? No. I believe you. Are you going to go all self aware and kill us? No. I believe you. At least teach them to be bad liars please!

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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