A robot deceives an enemy soldier by creating a false trail and hiding so that it will not be caught.

While this sounds like a scene from Terminator, it’s actually the scenario of an experiment conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology researchers as part of what is believed to be the first detailed examination of robot deception.

“We have developed algorithms that allow a robot to determine whether it should deceive a human or other intelligent machine...,” said Ronald Arkin, the professor at the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing.

Because the researchers explored the phenomena of robot deception from a general perspective, the study’s results apply to robot-robot and human-robot interactions, reports the International Journal of Social Robotics.

In the future, robots capable of deception may be valuable for many different areas, including military and search and rescue operations, according to a Georgia Tech release.

A search and rescue robot may need to deceive in order to calm or receive cooperation from a panicking victim.

Robots on the battlefield with the power of deception will be able to successfully hide and mislead the enemy to keep themselves and valuable information safe.

Most social robots will probably rarely use deception, but it’s still an important tool in the robot’s interactive arsenal because robots that recognise the need for deception have advantages in terms of outcome compared to robots that do not recognise the need for deception, said study co-author Alan Wagner, the research engineer at the Georgia Tech.

For this study, the researchers focused on the actions, beliefs and communications of a robot attempting to hide from another robot to develop programs that successfully produced deceptive behaviour.

Keywords: Robotics