Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Between DeepMind and Deep Sea ?

Like “ Between the DEVIL and the DEEP SEA

In the “ Battle of the Robots “ , will human race parish ?

Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have been asking that question even before the following report appeared in media yesterday :

Google’s DeepMind pits AI against AI to see if they fight or cooperate

In the future, it’s likely that many aspects of human society will be controlled — either partly or wholly — by artificial intelligence.

AI computer agents could manage systems from the quotidian (e.g., traffic lights) to the complex (e.g., a nation’s whole economy), but leaving aside the problem of whether or not they can do their jobs well, there is another challenge:

Will these agents be able to play nice with one another? What happens if one AI’s aims conflict with another’s? Will they fight, or work together?

Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind has been exploring this problem in a new study published today. The company’s researchers decided to test how AI agents interacted with one another in a series of “social dilemmas.”

This is a rather generic term for situations in which individuals can profit from being selfish — but where everyone loses if everyone is selfish.

The most famous example of this is the prisoner’s dilemma, where two individuals can choose to betray one another for a prize, but lose out if both choose this option.

As explained in a blog post from DeepMind, the company’s researchers tested how AI agents would perform in these sorts of situations, by dropping them into a pair of very basic video games.

In the first game, Gathering, two player have to collect apples from a central pile.

They have the option of “tagging” the other player with a laser beam, temporarily removing them from the game, and giving the first player a chance to collect more apples.

In the second game, Wolfpack, two players have to hunt a third in an environment filled with obstacles. Points are claimed not just by the player that captures the prey, but by all players near to the prey when it’s captured.

What the researchers found was interesting, but perhaps not surprising: the AI agents altered their behavior, becoming more cooperative or antagonistic, depending on the context.

For example, with the Gathering game, when apples were in plentiful supply, the agents didn’t really bother zapping one another with the laser beam. But, when stocks dwindled, the amount of zapping increased.

Most interestingly, perhaps, was when a more computationally-powerful agent was introduced into the mix, it tended to zap the other player regardless of how many apples there were.

That is to say, the cleverer AI decided it was better to be aggressive in all situations.


Does that mean that the AI agent thinks being combative is the “best” strategy ?

Not necessarily. The researchers hypothesize that the increase in zapping behavior by the more-advanced AI was simply because the act of zapping itself is computationally challenging.

The agent has to aim its weapon at the other player and track their movement — activities which require more computing power, and which take up valuable apple-gathering time. Unless the agent knows these strategies will pay off, it’s easier just to cooperate.

Conversely, in the Wolfpack game, the cleverer the AI agent, the more likely it was to cooperate with other players. As the researchers explain, this is because learning to work with the other player to track and herd the prey requires more computational power.

The results of the study, then, show that the behavior of AI agents changes based on the rules they’re faced with.

If those rules reward aggressive behavior (“Zap that player to get more apples”) the AI will be more aggressive; if they rewards cooperative behavior (“Work together and you both get points!) they’ll be more cooperative.

That means part of the challenge in controlling AI agents in the future, will be making sure the right rules are in place.

As the researchers conclude in their blog post: “As a consequence [of this research], we may be able to better understand and control complex multi-agent systems such as the economy, traffic systems, or the ecological health of our planet - all of which depend on our continued cooperation.”

I have no doubts that the DeepMind ( and its opponent AI ) are quite capable to  substitute on their very own , words / concepts , as follows :

Collect = Immobilize / Apple = Humans / Central Pile = World / Tagging = Shortlisting / Laser Beam = Zero-in / Removing = Eliminating / Game = War / Hunt = Chase / Capture = Imprison / Prey = Target / Obstacles = Shields / Antagonistic = Inimical / Zap = Kill / Combative = Aggressive / Weapon = AnthraxNerve Gas Nuclear Missile..etc

How does that worry Elon Musk ?
Here is a report from Economic Times ( 16 Feb 2017 ) :

As one of the premier figures in the tech industry, Elon Musk’s words do carry a certain weight.

So when he says that humans need to become half organic, half machine beings in order to survive the future, the concept starts sounding a lot less silly than it would have.

Of course, scientists have been suggesting that becoming part machine is inevitable down the road. With artificial intelligence expected to spread in a few years, however, it has become a necessity.

The work on machine learning and the AI industry, in general, is progressing at a rapid rate, with companies vying to be the first to produce a fully functional model that can serve as the ultimate smart assistant and more.

This is exactly what the Tesla CEO was warning the world about during his speech at the World Government Summit, which was held in Dubai, CNBC reports.

"Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence," Musk said. "It's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output."

According to Musk, this is important because communication is going to be the deciding factor when it comes to supremacy between machines and their original creators.

As he explains it, today’s average machine is capable of communicating millions, if not trillions of bits per second. This allows them to perform multiple tasks without much effort. In contrast, humans can communicate at about 10 bits a second.

As to how this is going to be accomplished exactly, there have been several methods proposed over the decades, none of which have yet to bear fruit in a practical manner.

All Musk knows is that if humans don’t learn to adapt to have faster communication capabilities, they risk getting overrun by machinesThe Verge reports. It’s already happening now.

Dear Elon ,

It is unlikely that humans will , any time soon , develop a “ method “ to think and communicate, as fast as computers

But you may feel reassured that the human race need not get overrun by machines if that  “ Ultimate Smart Assistance “ takes the form of :

And ,

Each and every Robot is embedded with :

If that can be pulled off , we need not fear,

16  Feb  2017