We can now engineer entirely artificial personalities, and we don't
mean your-kid-for-cash strategies like Hannah Montana. Scientists have
now evolved artificial personalities based on simulated genetic
algorithms. Meaning they're only one good synthetic-skin invention from
getting rid of our species altogether. A research collaboration between Samsung and the Korea Advanced
Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has created a virtual
puppy, Rity, a computerized creature whose every action is guided by a
simulated personality system. It's an excellent choice by the
developers, making the first models as harmless-looking as possible -
affording them extra time to develop successors and dig the
Rity's personality is based on
silicon-simulated genes. Its personality program is run from a an
artificial genome consisting of 1,764 genes, divided into 14
chromosomes. These chromosomes control various components of three
separate internal state units, which react to external information and
send votes to a probabilistic behavior module equipped with instant
instinct reactions. This puppy's brain is more complicated than most
country's governments, and this is only the first generation.
important to understand what "genes" mean in software development: this
electronic puppy isn't able to breed (to the dismay of the scarier
parts of the internet population), so we aren't looking at a horde of
evolved software agents. Evolutionary algorithms evolve a program by
mutating various genes in thousands of generations - the fittest
results are selected and mutated again, and again and again. This can
result in surprisingly effective algorithms - the evolved solutions in
this case actually performed better than those hand-designed by the
programmers. Or in other, more movie-trailer-friendly terms, this
thing is better at the game than the people who designed said game.
And the game is "create artificial beings." And these are the same
people who, presumably, designed the "don't escape into the world and
kill etc etc" subroutines.
So the system can't breed an
invincibly army, but as a program it can easily be copied, which is the
point - spend a ton of computer time evolving up a good solution then
use it for everything. At this point the solution is only for "See if
a simulated pet likes being stroked", which even a pink DS can do, but
the future applications are far more significant.
assistants for the elderly (which have already been built), to
human-interface agents online, to more realistic AI in video games.
Because that's the best possible idea: evolve electronic intelligences,
then shoot at them all the time to see what happens.
Posted by Luke McKinney.