Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scientists teach computers to feel regret to improve performance.

Great, let's teach robots to feel shame and self-loathing. What could go wrong? Item.
Engineers are teaching computers how to feel ‘regret’ so they will operate much faster and predict events before they happen.

Researchers are developing programmes which will ask computers to try and do something only for them to be deliberately thwarted.

By understanding the difference between the desired outcome and the reality, the machines will learn a sense of ‘regret’ and how to minimise it.

Computers which experience this will be less likely to make the same mistake in the future and will run more efficiently.

It could also teach them to predict the future - by considering all possible outcomes, they work out which is the most likely to succeed before they even start.

The researchers behind the project admit that it is not quite on a par with artificial intelligence depicted in science-fiction films.

Instead, they say that it is a first step on the way to creating computers which could one day have human emotions.