Google DeepMind researches why robots kill or cooperate


New research from DeepMind, Alphabet Inc.'s London-based artificial intelligence unit could ultimately shed light on this fundamental question. They have been investigating the conditions in which reward-optimizing beings, whether human or robot, would chose to cooperate, rather than compete. The answer could have implications for how computer intelligence may eventually be deployed to manage complex systems such as an economy, city traffic flows, or environmental policy. Joel Leibo, the lead author of a paper DeepMind published online Thursday, said in an email that his team's research indicates that whether agents learn to cooperate or compete depends strongly on the environment in which they operate. While the research has no immediate real-world application, it would help DeepMind design artificial intelligence agents that can work together in environments with imperfect information.

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