Researchers have started developing artificial intelligence with imagination – AI that can reason through decisions and make plans for the future, without being bound by human instructions.
Another way to put it would be imagining the consequences of actions before taking them, something we take for granted but which is much harder for robots to do.
“When placing a glass on the edge of a table, for example, we will likely pause to consider how stable it is and whether it might fall,” explain the researchers in a blog post. “On the basis of that imagined consequence we might readjust the glass to prevent it from falling and breaking.”
“If our algorithms are to develop equally sophisticated behaviours, they too must have the capability to ‘imagine’ and reason about the future. Beyond that they must be able to construct a plan using this knowledge.”
To do this, the researchers combined several existing AI approaches together, including reinforcement learning (learning through trial and error) and deep learning (learning through processing vast amounts of data in a similar way to the human brain).