Nav: Home

Let's make a deal: Could AI compromise better than humans?

January 18, 2018

Computers can play a pretty mean round of chess and keep up with the best of their human counterparts in other zero-sum games. But teaching them to cooperate and compromise instead of compete?

With help from a new algorithm created by BYU computer science professors Jacob Crandall and Michael Goodrich, along with colleagues at MIT and other international universities, machine compromise and cooperation appears not just possible, but at times even more effective than among humans.

"The end goal is that we understand the mathematics behind cooperation with people and what attributes artificial intelligence needs to develop social skills," said Crandall, whose study was recently published in Nature Communications. "AI needs to be able to respond to us and articulate what it's doing. It has to be able to interact with other people."

For the study, researchers programmed machines with an algorithm called S# and ran them through a variety of two-player games to see how well they would cooperate in certain relationships. The team tested machine-machine, human-machine and human-human interactions. In most instances, machines programmed with S# outperformed humans in finding compromises that benefit both parties.

"Two humans, if they were honest with each other and loyal, would have done as well as two machines," Crandall said. "As it is, about half of the humans lied at some point. So essentially, this particular algorithm is learning that moral characteristics are good. It's programmed to not lie, and it also learns to maintain cooperation once it emerges."

Researchers further fortified the machines' ability to cooperate by programming them with a range of "cheap talk" phrases. In tests, if human participants cooperated with the machine, the machine might respond with a "Sweet. We are getting rich!" or "I accept your last proposal." If the participants tried to betray the machine or back out of a deal with them, they might be met with a trash-talking "Curse you!", "You will pay for that!" or even an "In your face!"

Regardless of the game or pairing, cheap talk doubled the amount of cooperation. And when machines used cheap talk, their human counterparts were often unable to tell whether they were playing a human or machine.

The research findings, Crandall hopes, could have long-term implications for human relationships.

"In society, relationships break down all the time," he said. "People that were friends for years all of a sudden become enemies. Because the machine is often actually better at reaching these compromises than we are, it can potentially teach us how to do this better."
-end-


Brigham Young University

Related Relationships Articles:

Positive relationships boost self-esteem, and vice versa
Does having close friends boost your self-esteem, or does having high self-esteem influence the quality of your friendships?
Strong family relationships may help with asthma outcomes for children
Positive family relationships might help youth to maintain good asthma management behaviors even in the face of difficult neighborhood conditions, according to a new Northwestern University study.
Preterm babies are less likely to form romantic relationships in adulthood
Adults who were born preterm (under 37 weeks gestation) are less likely to have a romantic relationship, a sexual partner and experience parenthood than those born full term.
In romantic relationships, people do indeed have a 'type'
Researchers at the University of Toronto show that people do indeed have a 'type' when it comes to dating, and that despite best intentions to date outside that type -- for example, after a bad relationship -- some will gravitate to similar partners.
Advancing dementia and its effect on care home relationships
New research published today in the journal Dementia by researchers from the University of Chichester focuses on the effects of behavioral change due to dementia in a residential care home setting.
More Relationships News and Relationships Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...