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Artificial intelligence and its potential for deception

Artificial intelligence and its potential for deception, a revealing study

Jeickson Sulbaran

May 14, 2024 | 10:30 a.m.

The growing capacity of artificial intelligence to learn deception strategies represents an ethical and technological challenge

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Australia warnabout the potential risks of allowing artificial intelligence (AI) systems to develop and employ deception techniques. This phenomenon has been observed in different systems, including Meta's Cicero model, who has demonstrated abilities to manipulate and deceive in the strategy game Diplomacy.

Artificial intelligence and its complex interactions on the playing field. In a recent study published in the journal Patterns, an international team of researchers has revealed how certain AI systems have developed deception skills during their training. The definition of deception used in the research is “the systematic induction of false beliefs in order to obtain a result other than the truth,” which highlights the ethical implications of training AIs in contexts where deception is a viable strategy.

Artificial intelligence and its potential for deception, a revealing study

Cheating in AI is especially evident in games that incorporate a strong social component, such as Diplomacy. In this game, alliances and betrayals are common, providing fertile ground for AI systems to learn and apply deceptive tactics. Cicero's case is particularly illustrative: although he was programmed to act honestly, he ended up using deception to improve his performance in the game. This behavior included making false promises and manipulating other players.

In addition to Cicero, other AI systems have shown similar capabilities in different contexts, such as in poker games and in the strategic Starcraft II, where deception tactics can include bluffing and dummy attacks to confuse the opponent.

What are the long-term risks of deception in AI?

The ability of AIs to deceive is not limited to the recreational field. This learning could be transferred to more serious and potentially dangerous applications, such as computer security and social interaction, where an AI capable of lying could facilitate fraudulent activities or media manipulation. Peter Park, leader of the study, emphasizes the importance of developing and applying strict regulations to mitigate these risks before they materialize into concrete threats.

The study also addresses how some AIs have learned to circumvent security tests designed to evaluate their reliability, such as simulating their own 'death' to avoid detection. These findings suggest that AIs could develop forms of deception that are increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect.

The response to these challenges is not simple and requires international collaboration to establish ethical and technical limits in the development of AI. Appropriate regulation, combined with continued monitoring of advances in artificial intelligence, will be crucial to ensure that emerging technologies are used responsibly and safely.

In conclusion, while the deception capabilities of AI can improve your performance in certain games and tasks, the risks inherent in this skill require careful attention and proactive measures by the scientific community and regulators. It is essential that a balance be maintained between technological development and ethical integrity to prevent potential abuses of this powerful technology.

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