Thursday, January 19, 2017

Images images everywhere!

The IAM have come up with a new discipline to replace images - it's "images", only these ones are pictures of things!

5-minute Images

This will consist of colourful pictures and symbols.
We have decided to use a large, open database of images, which will be continually expanded. The most current version of the database (January 18, 2017; 2,315 images), split into two parts, is available for download on Facebook in the Files section of the IAM group ( and the World Memory Championships group ( We will also soon provide further download sources.
In a competition, there will be 5 minutes to memorise the images, which are presented in rows of 5. For recall, which will be 15 min, each row will be shuffled and competitors will attempt to write down the correct sequence number (1–5) for each image. 5 points for each correct row, penalty of -1 for each wrong row.
Right now there are 10 training sets available on the IAM stats homepage at

for you to download, print and try out. There are also marking sets to allow you to get your score easier. More training sets will follow.
We have decided to offer two different rule sets and let you determine which you like best:
1. Sets 1–5 have 250 Images and time-based rules (250 = 1,000 pts / if and only if all 250 are correct, the time counts: if time is under 5 mins, score is then 1,000 * 300s / time in s). You will need a timer for this.
2. Sets 6-10 have 350 Images and amount-based rules (250 = 1,000 pts; score is 1,000 * raw score / 250).
We want to get an idea of which rule set works best and if the standard holds up to practice, so we would be very interested to get your feedback on this discipline on as many things as possible (regarding the standard, if the recall time is too short, in particular for the 350 sets, etc...) and would love to hear your training scores!

Certainly better than "abstract images" (where all you actually have to do is pre-memorise the very limited number of background patterns), in that it's not something that people can adapt a system to as easily, but logistically it's maybe got a few problems - can the united forces of memorisers around the world provide enough clipart-style images to use? The database needs to be at least ten times as big as it it now, really, just for starters...

Still, as long as there's always the knowledge that images in any given competition could be things you've never seen before, it works. I'll do some practice at the weekend and see how it goes - I decided to focus on Memory League in January and use that to transition into old-fashioned memory practice afterwards, and I'm still more or less on track there. We have competitions coming up in Korea in February, which I can't really justify the expense of going to, and France in March, which seems a lot more doable, then Germany in March-April (two-day tournament straddling the two months) which I really will make the effort to attend!

I can't even remember the last time I went to a memory competition in Germany. I used to be over there a couple of times a year...


Anonymous said...

Did you preorder the ML software?

Zoomy said...

The Art of Memory thing? No, I'm sort of out of touch with the memory world, I'm not even sure what that is...

Anonymous said...