Google’s AI has learned to become aggressive

Behaviour tests conducted on Google’s DeepMind AI system make it clear just how careful we need to be when building the robots of the future…

In the training program game called Gathering, there were two competing DeepMind ‘agents’ whose goal was to grab as many virtual apples as possible. As the supply of virtual apples became scarce, the two DeepMind AI competitors began using laser beams “to knock each other out and steal all the apples.” Here is a condensed fifty second video to show you the action:

Google engineers programmed DeepMind AI to play this game over forty million times. The choice to use laser beams, a choice made solely by the DeepMind AI agents, kicked in only when the “more complex” AI networks were used. Less complex DeepMind systems who played the game – this translates into “less intelligent” AI – discovered the means to equally share all virtual apples, with no need to utilize laser beams to take down the other player…

DeepMind was then tasked with playing a second video game, called Wolfpack. This time, there were three AI agents – two of them played as wolves, and one as the prey.

Unlike Gathering, this game actively encouraged co-operation, because if both wolves were near the prey when it was captured, they both received a reward – regardless of which one actually took it down:

It’s still early days for DeepMind, and the team at Google, but the initial results show that, just because we build them, it doesn’t mean robots and AI systems will automatically have our interests at heart…

There’s little doubt that world history is replete with stories about the “stronger” leaders of nations who will plunder those less able to defend themselves, or those who may be mentally, emotionally, or physically suffering from maladies and in great distress. Are these discoveries about the latent aggression in AI merely anomalies? Or does it reflect something much deeper and darker in the heart of man???

Video Credit: DeepMind

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