Google's DeepMind creates an AI with 'imagination'


The AI firm is developing algorithms that simulate the human ability to construct plans

Google's DeepMind is developing an AI capable of 'imagination', enabling machines to see the consequences of their actions before they make them.

In two new research papers, the British AI firm, which was acquired by Google in 2014, describes new developments for "imagination-based planning" to AI.

Its attempt to create algorithms that simulate the distinctly human ability to construct a plan could eventually help to produce software and hardware capable of solving complex tasks more efficiently.

DeepMind's previous research in this area has been incredibly successful, with its AlphaGo AI managing to beat a series of human champions at the notoriously tricky board game Go. However, AlphaGo relies on a clearly defined set of rules to provide likely outcomes, with relatively few factors to consider.

"The real world is complex, rules are not so clearly defined and unpredictable problems often arise," explain the DeepMind researchers in a blog post. "Even for the most intelligent agents, imagining in these complex environments is a long and costly process."

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