Sunday Morning Illusion AI

The following has been floating around for a while. Have a read. Note, tough, that this is not a real study.

Arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Regardless of its authenticity, it’s a neat trick. I had a debate with a friend as to whether or not this counts as an illusion, though. I thought I’d drag you into the debate.

Is this an illusion? What makes an illusion?

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Ryan Consell is a skeptical artist, tap-dancing armorer, juggling scientist, rock-climbing writer, sword-fighting math teacher, uni-cycling gamer, fire-spinning academic and devout nerd. He has a Masters in Applied science, most of a bachelors in Fine Arts, and a very short attention span. He is the author of How Not to Poach a Unicorn and half of the masochistic comedy duo that is Creative Dissonance. Follow him on Twitter @StudentofWhim


  1. May 28, 2012 at 1:51 am

    No, it’s not an illusion to me at least. I can see the actual misspellings, they’re just not jumbled enough to hide the meaning. It’s amazing how chaotic the spelling can be made before reading speed slows down to zero, though.

    Now the various reading “illusions” where you don’t notice the bits you don’t perceive until you examine the text again are better candidates for the illusion-label, but for some reason I’m somewhat resistant to calling any trick-the-mind-into-reading-something-else-trick an illusion.

  2. May 28, 2012 at 3:33 am

    Interestingly, my girlfriend had no trouble reading the paragraph, even though her native language is French and her English is mediocre.

  3. May 28, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I’m confused as to why the article graphic doesn’t match the letter pattern described in the text. Typo?

    Snadun ==> Snaduy , no?

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