Future of AI streamlined by online game


A new game that claims to break new ground – with a machine intelligence trying to communicate and collaborate with people rather than crush them.

The game developed by the AI institute of the late Microsoft founder Paul Allen, which was set to go live online yesterday, is like Pictionary, with one side drawing a picture and the other trying to guess what it represents. The computer plays either part, is designed to get people and machine to interpret each other, using guesses and hints when necessary to arrive at a shared understanding.

The backers claim that by setting a new direction for Artificial intelligence, it points the way to solving some of the limitations in deep learning, the technique that currently dominates the field.

The AI used in the game, called Iconary, was trained on 100, 000 drawing games between the human players. The  computer recognises 1200 different icons which are combined randomly into new phrases for one side to draw and the other to guess like coughing in a house and man lifting the weight.

The machine to machine training generates a huge amount of data to refine the computer’s pattern recognition but nothing to help it understand or collaborate with humans and according Ani Kembhavi one of the  Allen researchers hoped to increase substantially the number of human/machine interactions they could study in order to refine the algorithms further.