Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Swiss Experimenter Breeds Swarm Intelligence 144

destinyland writes "Researchers simulated evolution with multiple generations of food-seeking robots in a new study of artificial swarm intelligence. 'Under some conditions, sophisticated communication evolved,' says one researcher. And in a more recent study, the swarms of bots didn't just evolve cooperative strategies — they also evolved the ability to deceive. ('Forget zombies,' joked one commenter. 'This is the real threat.') 'The study of artificial swarm intelligence provides insight into the nature of intelligence in general, and offers an interesting perspective on the nature of Darwinian selection, competition, and cooperation.' And there's also some cool video of the bots in action."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Swiss Experimenter Breeds Swarm Intelligence

Comments Filter:
  • by virmaior ( 1186271 ) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:06PM (#29874955)
    I did. Did you understand the meaning behind the paragraphs you cite?
    I am confused as to how it was possible to understand the claims it made. Robots don't have genomes and don't eat food. Their "genomes" cannot be recombined.
    Robots have code and programmers. What does a random change mean in this context? Do they use faulty dram or mess with the voltage?
  • Re:Hullabaloooo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:06PM (#29874965)
    Actual robots with flashing lights have a way better chance at going viral on YouTube.
  • by Hinhule ( 811436 ) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:15PM (#29875071)

    And you'll have to go back to your earlier results and wonder, when did it start deceiving?

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:41PM (#29875431) Journal
    Just with the limited human intelligence, limited resources and limited ability the researchers are able to create great levels of cooperation on mindless robots without any free will. Makes me wonder, if we are designed, as many Intelligent Design advocates claim we are, was the designer "intelligent"? With infinite wisdom and omnipotence and infinite resources, the Designer (or Designers) should have been able to create much more cooperative human beings. No wars. all peace. I wonder how they (the IDists) are able to square their ability ti "infer design" with the obvious "deficiencies of design".
  • by jfruhlinger ( 470035 ) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:58PM (#29875611) Homepage

    One question that intrigues me is just how human-readable the code produced by such genetic algorithms is. Some of the practical promise of this work is that it produces problem-solving code in ways very difficult from that of human programmers -- but how can such code be maintained by humans? It's a bit like making an engineer try to figure out how your lower intestine works.

  • Re:Waste of time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jfruhlinger ( 470035 ) on Monday October 26, 2009 @03:00PM (#29875645) Homepage

    I imagine that there might be interesting results that come from putting objects into an environment where you don't control all the variables. I've heard of cases where the robots end up using features of their own hardware (which is generally cobbled together from off the shelf parts) that the researchers never anticipated.

  • by Tiger4 ( 840741 ) on Monday October 26, 2009 @03:28PM (#29875997)
    I heard an old military intel guy say this about the Germans, "they're either at your feet or at your throat".
  • Re:Waste of time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Monday October 26, 2009 @03:55PM (#29876307)

    Because intelligence isn't just a software thing. At least not in humans.

    I recall reading about field programmable gate arrays being used in an experiment with genetic algorithms. They wanted to force the FPGAs to evolve to tell the difference between two different frequency sounds. Eventually they wound up with chips that accomplished the task in a variety of ways - ways that worked but for no explicable reason, some of them being ways that took advantage of tiny differences in the individual (identical, at least from a manufacturing perspective) chips, and even that required slight differences in the room's environment. This was years ago.

    Simulations won't have those little idiosyncraces between individual units and thus might miss a huge component. Variation among individuals that is only in software misses the whole concept of variation between individuals that comes about from hardware, and also from the interaction between the two.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 26, 2009 @05:13PM (#29877511)

    Us humans very often start with a picture in mind of what the answer "should" be, and it limits our thinking.

    Like a future with humans in it, you mean?

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray