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ababuu 01-14-2008 07:18 PM

Robots Evolve And Learn How to Lie or Become Heroes

Robots can evolve to communicate with each other, to help, and even to deceive each other, according to Dario Floreano of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Floreano and his colleagues outfitted robots with light sensors, rings of blue light, and wheels and placed them in habitats furnished with glowing “food sources” and patches of “poison” that recharged or drained their batteries. Their neural circuitry was programmed with just 30 “genes,” elements of software code that determined how much they sensed light and how they responded when they did. The robots were initially programmed both to light up randomly and to move randomly when they sensed light.

To create the next generation of robots, Floreano recombined the genes of those that proved fittest—those that had managed to get the biggest charge out of the food source.

The resulting code (with a little mutation added in the form of a random change) was downloaded into the robots to make what were, in essence, offspring. Then they were released into their artificial habitat. “We set up a situation common in nature—foraging with uncertainty,” Floreano says. “You have to find food, but you don’t know what food is; if you eat poison, you die.” Four different types of colonies of robots were allowed to eat, reproduce, and expire.

By the 50th generation, the robots had learned to communicate—lighting up, in three out of four colonies, to alert the others when they’d found food or poison. The fourth colony sometimes evolved “cheater” robots instead, which would light up to tell the others that the poison was food, while they themselves rolled over to the food source and chowed down without emitting so much as a blink.

Some robots, though, were veritable heroes. They signaled danger and died to save other robots. “Sometimes,” Floreano says, “you see that in nature—an animal that emits a cry when it sees a predator; it gets eaten, and the others get away—but I never expected to see this in robots.”

the journal article:

I don't know how to feel about this type of research. Are they teaching robots to lie? Or are they just finding out that robots can be capable of lying?

Ultimately, knowing that robots are capable of lying to other robots to pursue their on self-interests can be very useful in the eventual battle against robots. It is possible that we can enlist the help of deceitful robots. Or course we'll need to keep them in a long leash. This type of fallibility can be very advantageous to the cause.

Kipper 01-15-2008 06:10 PM

wow, amazing =P and I really do mean it.

to think, about 65 odd years ago (est) we (British) were making computers to deciper code of German forces (enigma - mainly used by navy)

and today, someone somewhere is able to make robots which have AI in the quite literal sense that they're evolving.

yes, some people could say but its programmed into them, but isn't that what we basically are? organic materal robots?

Its just a theory, and add the fact its from a game you'll laugh, but Assasins Creed makes a good statement about the possibility of memories or subconcious non physical memory and data being passed on through genes.

is it really impossible? we're doing it for robots now

Drizzt7 01-23-2008 11:06 PM

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck you. And welcome to the forums.

I found this on my own, actually. I was going to post it here, but looks like you beat me to the punch. Shady stuff with them robots, though...

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