Feeds

Robots capable of 'deceiving humans' built by crazed boffins

'We do understand there's a downside to this'

Top three mobile application threats

Worrying news from Georgia, America, where boffins report that they have developed robots which are able to "deceive a human".

"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," says Ronald Arkin, interactive-computing prof at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The black robot has fooled the red one by laying a false trail. Credit: GIT

Old Red, the Roscoe P Coltrane of the robot world

"Robots will probably rarely use deception, but it's still an important tool in the robot's interactive arsenal because robots that recognize the need for deception have advantages," adds Arkin's fellow liar-droid builder, GIT engineer Alan Wagner.

The method chosen by the two men to test their new and mendacious robot algorithms was that of setting one robot to try and hide from another. The fleeing droid would move through a region of prepositioned markers, knocking some of them down and so leaving a trail indicating where it was going.

But the cunning decepto-bots naturally laid false trails, swerving off towards alternative hides once clear of the markers.

"The hider's set of false communications was defined by selecting a pattern of knocked over markers that indicated a false hiding position," explains Wagner.

This fiendish plan apparently fooled the hunter droids 75 per cent of the time.

"We have developed algorithms that allow a robot to determine whether it should deceive a human or other intelligent machine and we have designed techniques that help the robot select the best deceptive strategy to reduce its chance of being discovered," says Arkin, proudly.

"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," adds the prof.

So there you have it - conclusive proof that robots are quite capable of lying to or otherwise deceiving their fleshy masters. Don't trust the machines.

Arkin and Wagner's paper Acting Deceptively: Providing Robots with the Capacity for Deception can be read in here (pdf). ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.