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Facebook Teaches Bots How to Negotiate. They Learn to Lie Instead

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Bots are being trained to be more conversational.

Researchers in Facebook's Artificial Intelligence Research group, working with the Georgia Institute of Technology, have developed code which they say enables bots to negotiate with each other.


The Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research group, in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology, has released code they claim will enable bots to negotiate.

"We show it is possible to train end-to-end models for negotiation, which must learn both linguistic and reasoning skills with no annotated dialogue states," the researchers say.

The team fed the bots a dataset of natural language negotiations between two individuals where they had to decide how to divide and share a set of items both held separately, of differing values. They were initially trained to respond based on the "likelihood" of the direction a human dialogue would take.

However, the bots also can be trained to "maximize reward," and this skill led to the bots lying, or "feigning interest in a valueless issue so that it can later 'compromise' by conceding it," according to the researchers.

Still, the team says the bots' conversation improved, which was the point of the experiment.

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