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Old 19th January 2008, 10:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Robot evolution

80. Robots Evolve And Learn How to Lie | Robots | DISCOVER Magazine

Robots can evolve to communicate with each other, to help, and even to deceive each other, according to Dario Floreano of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.


Floreano and his colleagues outfitted robots with light sensors, rings of blue light, and wheels and placed them in habitats furnished with glowing “food sources” and patches of “poison” that recharged or drained their batteries. Their neural circuitry was programmed with just 30 “genes,” elements of software code that determined how much they sensed light and how they responded when they did. The robots were initially programmed both to light up randomly and to move randomly when they sensed light.


To create the next generation of robots, Floreano recombined the genes of those that proved fittest—those that had managed to get the biggest charge out of the food source.


The resulting code (with a little mutation added in the form of a random change) was downloaded into the robots to make what were, in essence, offspring. Then they were released into their artificial habitat. “We set up a situation common in nature—foraging with uncertainty,” Floreano says. “You have to find food, but you don’t know what food is; if you eat poison, you die.” Four different types of colonies of robots were allowed to eat, reproduce, and expire.

By the 50th generation, the robots had learned to communicate—lighting up, in three out of four colonies, to alert the others when they’d found food or poison. The fourth colony sometimes evolved “cheater” robots instead, which would light up to tell the others that the poison was food, while they themselves rolled over to the food source and chowed down without emitting so much as a blink.


Some robots, though, were veritable heroes. They signaled danger and died to save other robots. “Sometimes,” Floreano says, “you see that in nature—an animal that emits a cry when it sees a predator; it gets eaten, and the others get away—but I never expected to see this in robots.”
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Old 19th January 2008, 11:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

Fascinating stuff. I'm not very well informed about artificial intelligence, but find it very interesting. Thanks for posting this
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Old 18th March 2008, 05:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

Here's the Big Dog robot, watch it keep its balance
Weird: New Video of BigDog Quadruped Robot Is So Stunning It's Spooky
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Old 30th March 2008, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

Fascinating indeed. How many generations are needed to surpass human intelligence? Is 50000 a reasonable number?
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Old 8th February 2010, 04:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

NASA's latest robot, which they're calling R2

NASA - Robonaut2, the Next Generation Dexterous Robot
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Old 8th February 2010, 07:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

This reminds me of an early tale called, IIRC, 'Callahan and the Wheelies'...
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Old 8th February 2010, 07:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

Why would we want a robot that can lie?

I mean.............think about it..............
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Old 8th February 2010, 09:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinzgirl View Post
Why would we want a robot that can lie?

I mean.............think about it..............
Who would have the resources to go through sufficient generations with enough complexity?

Governments, big business, the military – all paragons of truthfulness who could never consider a distortion of reality a positive factor, even if it gave them an advantage.

But evolution doesn't give you what you want, unless your limit conditions are very well defined; it gives you what can best survive in a given set of conditions. Intelligent design might be a bit better, but that's what's being used to get the computing we have now, and enough random factors mix in to keep me confused even so.

I am reminded of Rudy Rucker's "boppers". (Software, et al)
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Old 9th February 2010, 10:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

Quote:
Why would we want a robot that can lie?

I mean.............think about it..............
If you've seen 'the invention of lying' then surely there are a thousand reasons that we would want a Robot that could be lenient with the truth. Lying has real evolutionary advantages. Just look at women.
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Old 9th February 2010, 05:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

Women use subtlety and subterfuge, its not our fault we think on a higher evolutionary scale then the easily persuaded male.

:P

Robots are machines. They should not evolve.
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Old 9th February 2010, 05:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

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Originally Posted by Harpo View Post
and even to deceive each other...





They're getting more and more human every day, aren't they?
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Old 10th February 2010, 07:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

So, how many lying robots does it take to change a light bulb?
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Old 10th February 2010, 09:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

Quote:
Robots are machines. They should not evolve.
Why not?
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Old 11th February 2010, 05:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

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Originally Posted by thaddeus6th View Post
Fascinating stuff. I'm not very well informed about artificial intelligence, but find it very interesting. Thanks for posting this
There is a distinction between "AI" and Robotics. They aren't necessarily always combined, but they can be. In the strictest sense, Artificial Intelligence is defined in the software only; as it is the only software that can re-write itself. This can be useful, and ultimately will be what contributes to the "evolution" of robots. It is also dangerous. If the programmer isn't fully cognizant of every possible outcome (which is an enormously burdensome task) the robot may begin to display unpredictable behavior. This is, of course the notion that is exploited in the "Terminator" movies. A fail-safe switch or power cutoff is always employed in these type of robotic experiments.

A safer, and easier concept to implement is one that's been around quite awhile in electronics and software. It's called "control theory, or "feedback". The robot can add "memories" of the consequences of their actions, and learn what to do, and what not to do. They would of course have a basic list of do's and dont's programmed in. This is the less strict form of AI, where there is software code added, but none of the original software is re-written "on the fly".

That last phrase is the perfect lead-in to my next suggestion, that Jet airplanes are essential big powerful robots. With all of the advances in inertial navigation, and GPS positioning, Passenger Jets can take off, stay on course, and land. The tricky bit about lining up with the passenger loading ramp could be done with sensors and such, but it's just too expensive. That is always the anathema of such advancements. Cheaper isn't necessarily better.
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Old 11th February 2010, 09:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Robot evolution

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Originally Posted by Moonbat View Post
Why not?

I agree with you on this one, Moonbat, and to answer the question, they should "evolve" in every sense of the word because, although the ARE artificial, they are INTELLIGENT artifice.


Just because something's natural doesn't mean it should evolve-do rocks evolve?

Just because something is artifice doesn't mean it shouldn't. Intelligent design evolves to adapt and survive. Even plants have intelligence to some certain extent. Rocks and water doesn't, just like robots have intelligence where a monkey wrench doesn't.
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