If bots could talk, they'd make their own language
This segment first aired in April 2017.
How can artificial intelligence learn a language?
One way is to use an approach to AI that involves training it on enormous datasets of human language, looking for patterns and statistical relationships.
But what if there's another way?
He's looking at whether AI software can create their own language from scratch.
"We try to arrive at language from a very pragmatic point of view," explains Igor.
"Language is a tool for cooperation between multiple agents (between people, or between other organisms)...Successful language use is needed for successful cooperation."
Igor and his research partners wrote about the process here.
Essentially, they created a simple simulated 'world' for software agents to learn about, and try to accomplish a task in.
Igor's bots have been given the ability to communicate. But they come up with a simple language in order to complete tasks that require collaboration.
For example, software agent A might need to communicate to bot B that it needs to "move" to a location.
The bots are not yet engaging in flights of oratory. They use abstract symbols.
The OpenAI demo video below shows the bots' behaviour in a range of situations.