Janelle Shane @JanelleCShane Research Scientist in optics. Plays with neural networks. Avid reader, writer, and player of Irish flute. she/her. wandering.shop/@janellecshane Apr. 26, 2019 1 min read

When AI is asked to get to the finish line, it tends to build a very tall robot that gets there by falling over.
I copied that strategy and almost broke @SimoneGiertz's robot workshop. (Sorry!)

This is the robot-building stage at which it became obvious what our strategy was going to be, and @SimoneGiertz came by to say "Okay, so, um, although the rules didn't *technically* specify..."
She decided to let us compete.
Shown: @dfromm, me, Simone, and the "Lean Machine"

Here are the robots at the starting line.
When they said go, the robots all started twitching, flailing, and slowly rotating.
Except for ours.
In the first half-second of the race it slammed its face toward the finish line
... and missed it by an inch.

...I guess we should have checked our measurements.
The robot that won was the one 3rd from the top, which took about 10 minutes to scoot the 1 meter on its tiny foam flippers. The big-wheeled robot came in 2nd. Most robots never made it past the starting line. 4/

The moral of this story:
1. AI's rule-hacking strategies work in real life
2. Always check your measurements

You can follow @JanelleCShane.


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