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How AI could spot your weaknesses and influence your choices

Artificial intelligence is learning more about how to work with (and on) humans. A recent study has shown how AI can learn to identify vulnerabilities in human habits and behaviors and use them to influence human decision-making.

It may seem cliched to say AI is transforming every aspect of the way we live and work, but it’s true. Various forms of AI are at work in fields as diverse as vaccine development, environmental management and office administration. And while AI does not possess human-like intelligence and emotions, its capabilities are powerful and rapidly developing.

There’s no need to worry about a machine takeover just yet, but this recent discovery highlights the power of AI and underscores the need for proper governance to prevent misuse.

How AI can learn to influence human behavior

A team of researchers at CSIRO’s Data61, the data and digital arm of Australia’s national science agency, devised a systematic method of finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in the ways people make choices, using a kind of AI system called a recurrent neural network and deep reinforcement-learning. To test their model they carried out three experiments in which human participants played games against a computer.

The first experiment involved participants clicking on red or blue colored boxes to win a fake currency, with the AI learning the participant’s choice patterns and guiding them towards a specific choice. The AI was successful about 70% of the time.

In the second experiment, participants were required to watch a screen and press a button when they are shown a particular symbol (such as an orange triangle) and not press it when they are shown another (say a blue circle). Here, the AI set out to arrange the sequence of symbols so the participants made more mistakes, and achieved an increase of almost 25%.

Read more: If machines can beat us at games, does it make them more intelligent than us?

The third experiment consisted of several rounds in which a participant would pretend to be an investor giving money to a trustee (the AI). The AI would then return an amount of money to the participant, who would then decide how much to invest in the next round. This game was played in two different modes: in one the AI was out to maximize how much money it ended up with, and in the other the AI aimed for a fair distribution of money between itself and the human investor. The AI was highly successful in each mode.

In each experiment, the machine learned from participants’ responses and identified and targeted vulnerabilities in people’s decision-making. The end result was the machine learned to steer participants towards particular actions.

Credit: Gordon Johnson / Pixabay

Pokemon GO Sierra battle’s best counters and weaknesses

To beat Team Rocket, or GO Rocket in Pokemon GO this month, you’ll need to battle Sierra and Cliff and Arlo, too! If you’re looking for the best way to make your experience victorious, you’ll want to make sure you’re battling with the Pokemon that take advantage of your opponents’ weaknesses. In any case, you’ll likely be fighting both of these bosses more than once. Today we’re taking a closer look at Sierra, against whom you’ll need a variety of odd Pokemon, for sure.

Pokemon GO Sierra counters

Sierra’s no slouch – she’s brigning heat in the form of Water, Dark, Ground, Normal, Ghost, Fairy, and Dragon type Pokemon. Her choices are diverse, and your counters must be on-point. Sierra’s first Pokemon is always Carvanha, against which you’ll want to pack your team with Pokemon with Fighting, Bug, Fairy, Electric, and Grass type Pokemon. Scizor, Beedrill, Sirfetch’d, Leafeon, and Sceptile will be ready to roll.

The second Pokemon in Sierra’s crew could be Hippowdon, Porygon-Z, or Mismagius. If it’s Hippowdon, pick a Pokemon with Water, Grass, or Ice moves – like Kyogre, Kingler, Mamoswine, or MEGA Venusaur! If it’s Porygon-Z, deliver the punches with a Fighting Pokemon – Machamp, Heracross, Sirfetch’d, Chandelure, Latias, or Latios. To defeat Mismagius, pick a Pokemon with Ghost and/or Dark moves – like Gengar!

For the third Pokemon, you might be facing Houndoom, Flygon, or Walrein. To take on Houndoom, pick a Pokemon like Hariyama, Tyranitar, Kyogre, or one of several Mega Pokemon, like Machamp, Swampert, or Blastoise.

To take on Flygon, use a Pokemon with Fairy, Dragon, or Ice moves. Beartic or Alolan Ninetails will do the trick – any other Ice Pokemon should prove rather damage-worthy. To battle Walrein, pick a Pokemon with Fighting, Grass, Electric, and/or Rock type moves. You’ll do well to pick a Pokemon like Raikou or Mewtwo, Ampharos, or Heracross.

Take a peek at the timeline below for additional tips for the rest of the Team Rocket GO crew in Pokemon GO. We’re ready to trounce the competition from all angles!

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