This AI Can Beat You at Battleship by Learning How to Ask Smart Questions
NYU scientists teach an artificial intelligence program to win at "Battleship" by asking questions.
Researchers at NYU have apparently decided to ruin childhoods and taught an artificial-intelligence system to play the game of Battleship with amazing skill.
In the somewhat modified version of Battleship that this AI can play, it has to find an opponent’s ships hidden on a small grid of squares. All it can do to accomplish that is ask a series of questions that can be answered with a word or a single number.
The AI program demonstrates how machines can learn by asking questions. As reported by Will Knight of MIT Technology Review, the system looks at each question as a miniature program. After it processes what it learns, the program comes up with new and more precise questions.
Researchers Brenden Lake and Todd Gureckis, assistant professors at NYU, as well as Anselm Rothe, a graduate student, translated questions a human would ask to find the ships using a programming language. The questions included such inquiries as “How long is the blue ship?” and “Does the blue ship have four tiles?” or “Do the blue and red ships touch?” The machine then used a probabilistic model to determine which questions were the most useful and how to construct new questions to win the game.
This method of programming AI to generate smart questions is different from the usual approach where machines are simply fed a ton of data from which to come up with their own examples. The researchers see an application of their technology in fields like customer service.
“Having dialogue systems that generate novel questions so that they can get more informative answers on the fly is going to make human-computer interaction more effortless and make these systems more useful and fun to use,” said Brenden Lake.
The AI created by the researchers was actually able to construct “the ultimate question” for the game. It’s not a question a person would be able to follow or answer easily as it uses mathematical logic. But theoretically, answering it would allow the AI to back-calculate the whole board.
You can read the new paper “Question Asking as Program Generation” here.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.