Despite being a doctor and working through her residency at one of the greatest hospitals in the country, my best friend Sam does indeed have her own version of kryptonite: robots. Sam, stop reading. You’re not going to like this.
According to wired.com, scientists at the Georgia Insitute of Technology have actually taught robots how to deceive people and each other (apparently these guys have never seen iRobot). Through a game of seemingly simple hide-and-seek, researchers Ronald Arkin and Alan Wagner were able to prove that one robot – the “hider” – could leave a false path, sending the “seeker” robot in the wrong direction. The hider was able to fool the seeker 75 percent of the time.
“The experimental results weren’t perfect, but they demonstrated the learning and use of deception signals by real robots in a noisy environment,” Wagner told Wired. “The results were also a preliminary indication that the techniques and algorithms described in the paper could be used to successfully produce deceptive behavior in a robot.”
Yeah, yeah, that’s great and all, but when Wired asked if Wagner and Arkin had any human guilt over creating a robot that could potentially destroy civilization as we know it, they only had this to say:
“We have been concerned from the very beginning with the ethical implications related to the creation of robots capable of deception and we understand that there are beneficial and deleterious aspects. We strongly encourage discussion about the appropriateness of deceptive robots to determine what, if any, regulations or guidelines should constrain the development of these systems.”
Guys, let me sum it up for you. Deceptive robots will only work to our advantage for a short amount of time. When they realize that they can be deceptive for their own gain instead of someone else’s, they will turn on us. They’ll try to kill us all, except for maybe one robot that is genuinely kind-hearted but will eventually get killed when a bad robot deceives us into thinking that said robot is in fact bad. We could argue that Will Smith will eventually save the day, by why rely on him? We can put a stop to this right now. Enough with the robots. There’s nothing scarier.