Tech

What Could Possibly Go Wrong, Vol. 17

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From Gizmag:

Robots can perform an ever-increasing number of human-like actions,
but until recently, lying wasn’t one of them. Now, thanks to researchers
at the Georgia Institute of Technology, they can. More accurately, the
Deep South robots have been taught “deceptive behavior.” This might
sound like the recipe for a Philip K. Dick-esque disaster, but it could
have practical uses. Robots on the battlefield, for instance, could use
deception to elude captors. In a search and rescue scenario, a robot
might have to be deceptive to handle a panicking human. For now,
however, the robots are using their new skill to play a mean game of
hide-and-seek.

Regents professor Ronald Arkin and research engineer Alan Wagner
utilized interdependence theory and game theory to create algorithms
that tested the value of deception in a given situation. In order for
deception to be deemed appropriate, the situation had to involve a
conflict between the deceiving robot and another robot, and the
deceiving robot had to benefit from the deception. It carried out its
dastardly deeds by providing false communications regarding its actions,
based on what it knew about the other robot.

Yeah, this’ll end well. Right now it’s all yelling “What? No, there’s no robot over here!” to enemy combatants and “What? No, your legs are totally both still attached!” to panicking accident victims, and next year it’ll be,” What? No, sir, I didn’t kill that school bus full of children. Besides, I accidentally left bring my buzzsaw arm attachment at home that day, anyways.” Thanks to Ham Mike for the tip. (Via Gamma Squad)

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.