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Robots Evolve to Lie

Robots Evolve to Lie

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have discovered that “deceptive” behavior can emerge from relatively simple rulesets. They programmed a team of robots to find food. These robots were equipped with artificial neural networks that allowed them to learn over time.

“Over the first few generations, robots quickly evolved to successfully locate the food, while emitting light randomly. This resulted in a high intensity of light near food, which provided social information allowing other robots to more rapidly find the food,”

Later generations of robots discovered this fact and evolved to not shine their lights when they were approaching the food supply. They “lied” to other members of the team so that they could more quickly acquire food.

Interestingly enough, according to Augustine of Hippo, this type of behavior would make the robots pretty bad liars. His taxonomy ranks lies in order decreasing severity. Our robot friends rank third.

  • Lies in religious teaching.
  • Lies that harm others and help no one.
  • Lies that harm others and help someone.
  • Lies told for the pleasure of lying.
  • Lies told to “please others in smooth discourse.”
  • Lies that harm no one and that help someone.
  • Lies that harm no one and that save someone’s life.
  • Lies that harm no one and that save someone’s “purity.”

Learn More About Deception

The Most Common Types of Lies [site]

AOL Health: What kinds of lies do we most commonly tell?

Feldman: When we lie to other people, we’re usually trying to make them feel good about themselves — ‘I agree with you’ or ‘That’s a wonderful new tie.’ We also lie to make the conversation go more smoothly. So when someone mentions a restaurant or a book, you say, ‘Yes, I’ve been there’ or ‘I’ve read that.’ Or you say you liked a movie when you really didn’t. Then there are the self-oriented lies. To make ourselves look better and to puff ourselves up, we claim ‘I’ve traveled to Europe’ or ‘I was in the National Honor Society in high school.’ Most of us think that we’re above average, and we lie to reinforce our belief that we really are smarter, more capable, a better driver, you name it. This inflated view of ourselves is basically what allows us to get through the day. It’s a mechanism we use to enhance and protect our self-image.

Lying, Magic and Sleight-of-Hand with Ricky Jay [site]

You could wonder whether I’m lying to you now, about those two things and how they differ, because you don’t know. Because I know that you can’t follow the sleight of hand I’m doing to absolutely know for certain. And I’m not going to expose the method to show you that, but as your friend, I’m going to tell you that nothing about this was a lie. Everything I said in the transmission of these two effects was true. But in magic, there is magician to magician lying and obfuscation. To obfuscate the reconstruction of the effect – when a magician is fooled by another magician doing magic.

Cognitive Load and Detecting Lies [site]

…deception researchers led by psychologist Aldert Vrij of the University of Portsmouth in England asked one group to lie convincingly and another group to tell the truth about a staged theft scenario that only the truth-tellers had experienced. A second pair of groups had to do the same but with a crucial twist: both the liars and the truth-tellers had to maintain eye contact while telling their stories.

Later, as researchers watched videotapes of the suspects’ accounts, they tallied verbal signs of cognitive load (such as fewer spatial details in the suspects’ stories) and nonverbal ones (such as fewer eyeblinks). The eyeblinks are particularly interesting because whereas rapid blinking suggests nervousness, fewer blinks are a sign of cognitive load, Vrij explains—and contrary to what police are taught, liars tend to blink less. Although the effect was subtle, the instruction to maintain eye contact did magnify the differences between the truth-tellers and the liars.

Lying, Ethics and the Art of Selling [site]

If you’re a manager, remember that your words and behaviors — as well as what you don’t say and don’t do — send a clear message to us in sales about how we should sell and how truthful we should be. If you take your top-line responsibilities seriously and encourage ethical selling, we’ll be honest with customers and trust them to make the best choices for themselves — and to trust that those choices will benefit the company. Ethics needs to be the highest priority in selling, to protect the company’s reputation; attracting and keeping customers comes second; and profit comes third.

Body Language and Detecting Lies [site]

So can the direction a person’s eyes reveal whether or not they are making a truthful statement? Short answer: sort of. But, it isn’t as simple as some recent television shows or movies make it seem. In these shows a detective will deduce a person is being untruthful simply because they looked to the left or right while making a statement.

In reality, it would be foolish to make such a snap judgment without further investigation… but the technique does have some merit.

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