Robots of Deception

No doubt this is how we end up creating a race of Decepticons.

The evolution of robots toward the acquisition of fundamental human qualities has begun. Forget all that artificial intelligence stuff; the true test of humanity is the ability to lie.

A group of computer scientists at the Geor­gia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy are teaching their robots to be deliberately deceptive — at this stage by playing hide-and-seek. Isn’t that what Transformers do?

In the words of Professor Ronald Arkin, the researchers are developing algorithms that “al­low a ro­bot to de­ter­mine wheth­er it should de­ceive a hu­man or oth­er in­tel­li­gent ma­chine” and “help the ro­bot se­lect the best de­cep­tive strat­e­gy to re­duce its chance of be­ing discov­ered.” There are obvious military advantages for a surveillance droid to have this ability, as deceptive robots on the bat­tle­field would be able to suc­cess­fully hide and mis­lead the en­e­my by sending out false tracking information in order to keep them­selves and whatever in­forma­t­ion they’ve gathered safe.

But isn’t it dangerous?

“We have been concerned from the very beginning with the ethical implications related to the creation of robots capable of deception and we understand that there are beneficial and deleterious aspects,” Arkin said.

Co-researcher and engineer Al­an Wag­ner added:

Most so­cial ro­bots will probably rarely use de­cep­tion, but it’s still an im­por­tant tool in the ro­bot’s in­ter­ac­tive ar­se­nal be­cause ro­bots that rec­og­nize the need for de­cep­tion have ad­van­tages in terms of out­come com­pared to ro­bots that do not rec­og­nize the need for de­cep­tion.

Social robots will “rarely” use deception, eh? That’s comforting.

Undead Backbrain questioned one of the experimental robots about the research. He said: “Why ask me? I’m not even a ro …. [click] … ro [click] … robot.”

Read more about the research on World Science.

Sources: DIVICE; World Science

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