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Researchers Teach Robots Deception by Mimicking Squirrels
1/29/2013

Georgia Tech researchers Ronald Arkin and Alan Wagner pose with robots that have been trained to deceive each other by studying the behavior of squirrels trying to protect their food stash. The work funded by the Office of Naval Research could eventually be used by the US military.   (Source: Georgia Tech)
Georgia Tech researchers Ronald Arkin and Alan Wagner pose with robots that have been trained to deceive each other by studying the behavior of squirrels trying to protect their food stash. The work funded by the Office of Naval Research could eventually be used by the US military.
(Source: Georgia Tech)

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jmiller
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Re: Clever method
jmiller   1/30/2013 9:56:15 PM
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I don't know what would be more funny. A computer that does have a sense of humor. Or a computer that doesn't have any sense about what is appropriate.  Either way, it would probably be a hoot.

jmiller
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Re: Clever method
jmiller   1/30/2013 9:59:48 PM
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I think we all like to think that we do things in some sort of logical fashion that we can then project onto robots.  The problem is occasionally we have one of those brain duds and what we do doesn't have any logic to it at all.  We also have the fact of making a mistake that ends up defying logic and working out really well.  Robots, in the end, will always do exactly what they were programmed to do.  Whether it be a learning program or simple logic, it will only do what it is told to do.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever method
Elizabeth M   1/31/2013 4:52:26 AM
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Thanks, Charles, I will check that out. I am quite interested to see how this would be done, considering how difficult humor is even for humans who speak the same language, not to mention it is the most difficult thing to translate in other languages. Appreciate the info!

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever method
Elizabeth M   1/31/2013 11:49:44 AM
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Yes, jmiller, this is true...and I hope this is what will always separate humans from robots! But robot design is getting so sophisticated that who knows, maybe sometime there will be artificial intelligence even for that! Personally, I hope not, but the mind boggles...

jmiller
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Re: Clever method
jmiller   1/31/2013 9:44:13 PM
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I wonder if they'll still call it artificial intelligence when the computer is programmed to have a blonde moment...no offense to any blondes.  It is scary to think about how much artificial intelligence has come in the last few years.  In college I remember they used to test aretificial intelligence by some test and computers improved so much that they had to change the test.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Clever method
Ann R. Thryft   2/1/2013 11:49:25 AM
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Thanks, Elizabeth--this is very funny, as well as an intelligent use of biomimicry in research design. Squirrels are very sly creatures. It's also interesting that the biomimicry here is now aimed at behavior, not movements, as you point out. That's a sign that design is making progress past some simple basic problems, and moving into a different phase.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever method
Elizabeth M   2/6/2013 5:27:36 AM
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Indeed, Ann. Movements are one thing that engineers have really made significant progress on in terms of robots...behavior really is the next wave now. It's interesting when they use animal behaviors, I think, because humans can never really fully understand animals, if you think about it. They can observe them and get a good idea of the how and why of behaviors, but we don't really know what's going on in an animal's mind. To transfer that to robots is quite a challenge in its own right, I think! Will be interesting to see how this all develops. It seems like there is something new every day!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Clever method
Ann R. Thryft   2/6/2013 11:59:29 AM
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The movements phase took a long time. Much initial research was simply fundamental work trying to see all the different ways you could design a robot that moves. Later, that went 180 degrees and design of movements was targeted to specific uses, such as much of Boston Robotics' work. That seems to be about the time that more military funding was becoming available.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever method
Elizabeth M   2/7/2013 10:42:08 AM
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That's an interesting bit of history. It seems now that a lot of the behvaioral type of robot innovation seems to be coming out of research institutions and universities vs. the military. In fact, I think also it's becoming the same for research into robotic movement, too.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Clever method
Ann R. Thryft   2/7/2013 12:40:06 PM
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Actually much, perhaps most, of current applied robotics research (at least in the US) is being funded by the military, often through universities.

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