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Editorials

Scientists teach AI-powered robots to reproduce, evolve

In a first, evolutionary roboticists are trying to have robots ‘mate’ and reproduce on their own, just like biologi
Published April 1, 2019 Updated April 4, 2019

In a first, evolutionary roboticists are trying to have robots ‘mate’ and reproduce on their own, just like biological organisms do.

Computer scientists at Vrije Universiteit have built up a simplified system that shows how future robots might swap and combine their ‘genetic’ information in order to reproduce, evolve themselves autonomously, as per Wired.

The research involved programming two parent robots to code a new ‘offspring’. The two robots were able to combine their code and produce 3D-printed offspring. It found that that the resulting offspring contain a mixture of the parents’ code along with some modules that seemed to have mutated or been blended on its own.

Artificial intelligence able to predict premature death ‘very accurately’

“One parent is fully green, and the other parent is fully blue,” once of the scientists Gusz Eiben told Wired. “Then the child has some modules that are blue and some that are green, but the head is white.  That’s not what we put in – it’s a mutation effect.”

Such advancements in evolutionary robotics could eventually lead to great improvements in robots’ agility to navigate complex environments, including cataloguing biodiversity in remote areas, searching destroyed buildings for survivors following an earthquake, and exploring labyrinthine cave systems, noted the study published in Nature Medicine Intelligence.

However, actually witnessing robots producing their own offspring could take some time. The team envisions that after 20 years or so, scientists could mass produce cheap robots that would go out and perform a given task. They would then ‘breed’ those that are more successful into a new generation of robots that grow rapidly skillful at their particular task, wrote Futurism.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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