Computers Teach Each Other How to Play

Guest_Jim_* - April 2, 2014 02:53PM in Science & Technology

Being able to learn and teach what we learn is critical for humanity to survive, and it is also tricky to do right as the ultimate desire is for the student to surpass the teacher. Computers too, have a need to learn from each other and pass on skills, and now researchers at Washington State University have succeeded in programming computers to behave like a teacher and student pair.

In this case, the computers were given the tasks of playing Pac-Man and a version of StarCraft. The teacher aided the student by giving action advice, so the student knew when to act. To keep it realistic, an algorithm was developed to direct when advice is to be given, as constantly giving advice will just frustrate the student and not giving advice is not teaching. Eventually the student was able to outperform the teacher, just like with humans, though they were still pretty dumb.

While it may seem silly to give computers the ability to teach each other, as a hard drive can just be swapped from one machine to another, differences in hardware and software could cause problems. Next the researchers are working on curriculums for the computers, so hopefully they can advance from simple to more complex work.

Source: Washington State University