Artificial Intelligence Takes a Trip on the London Underground

Researchers have devised a system that can learn sophisticated tasks, like figuring out where in the heck you are. By Nathan Collins (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) It’s a bit overwhelming, figuring out how to get from one place to another on the London Underground. So imagine how hard that navigation must be for a simple computer, especially one that has neither a map nor any clear instructions on how to get around. Yet researchers have done exactly that: They let an artificial intelligence loose on a (computer-simulated) Underground and watched as it learned to navigate the third-largest subway system in the world. The key, Alex Graves, Greg Wayne, and their colleagues at Google DeepMind write in Nature, is adding a computer-like memory to a staple of artificial intelligence research, the…

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