Squirrels Teach Robots To Lie

Squirrels Teach Robots To Lie

Posted On: December 4, 2012
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Squirrels and robots working together? What fresh new hell is this? Will this spawn a world where robots kill us, hide our bodies in the ground like nuts to dig up later, and scurry back into their trees to await their next victim? Probably.

Researchers at Georgia Tech are working hard teaching robots to lie, and they’re taking lessons in lying from squirrels. Turns out that it isn’t easy to teach a robot how to lie. But when you use the “forest liar,” aka the squirrel, to give robots the tools they need to learn deception, it works pretty good.

The team wants to take cues from squirrel behavior to show robots that it’s okay to lie sometimes. Squirrels are ideal because they are prey to just about anything. That means that survival is tough and so they often hide food from one another. So the team taught their robots to mimic the behavior of squirrels storing food for the winter, picking up virtual food items and dropping them in caches. They managed to teach the robots how to lie about where their caches are by visiting fake caches where no food is stored when other robots are around, and then changing the location of the real caches once they’ve gone.

[via Geekosystem]