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Robots Learn to Lie and Deceive Each Other in Search for 'Food'

If you grew up with a few brothers and sisters, you know there are certain unspoken rules when it comes to food. You have to move fast without being noticed to get the last fish stick. According to a new study, it's not just humans who can learn these survival rules; robots can, too.

Technology Review reports that a team of scientists at Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne are soon to release a study on robots equipped with artificial neural networks and programmed to locate 'food.' When a robot neared the 'food,' it flashed a blue light so other robots could also find it. With limited space around the 'food,' the robots soon learned this wasn't the best idea. The researchers copied and combined the artificial neural networks of the most 'intelligent' robots, and made a few changes to the code to mimic biological mutations. As a result, the robots 'evolved' -- learning not to alert other each other to the food. After a few hundred (increasingly intelligent) 'generations,' the majority of robots didn't flash a light at all.

The researchers say this experiment will help scientists better grasp how biological communication systems evolve. In this case, it might not have happened very quickly, but the results, which will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are pretty amazing. Pretty soon, we'll have those pesky robots to deal with at the dinner table, too. There goes any shot at seconds on Thanksgiving. [From: Technology Review]

Tags: artificialintelligence, biology, communication, evolution, experiment, robot, science, top

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