back to article If the words 'new', 'AI', 'for', 'the', 'physical', 'world', 'accelerate' and 'Facebook' scare you, click this headline

A reinforcement-learning algorithm was open-sourced this week by Facebook that can train AI bots to navigate simulations, with each droid armed with just a camera, GPS, and a compass – and no map. Dubbed decentralized distributed proximal policy optimization, or DDPPO, it’s an architecture that scales up proximal policy …

  1. Red Ted

    GPS and Compass readings in a building?

    I think that's one part of the simulation that won't survive the transition in to the real world.

    1. Sgt_Oddball

      Re: GPS and Compass readings in a building?

      Did they experiment with it being near strong magnetic sources?

      I'm also interested in how long it took to navigate the route? It might be right but if it took days to get anywhere I'd kinda be somewhat annoyed at it being so slow.

      1. Psmo

        Re: GPS and Compass readings in a building?

        And the pizza would get cold

        1. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: GPS and Compass readings in a building?

          "And the pizza would get cold"

          And it'd probably be the pizza that your neighbor ordered. With --- yuck -- anchovies.

          BTW, I'm kind of unimpressed with the "equivalent of 80 years human experience". Really, now, are octogenerians generally held in awe for their fantastic navigational skills?

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    Robots and Pizza, I don't think so

    "Maybe then we'll finally get robots that can deliver pizza".

    More likely you will recieve a robot that will monitor every movement you make from the moment you wake up until the moment you sleep in order that Zuckerberg and Co can sell more publicity...

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Robots and Pizza, I don't think so

      There goes the 'robot butler' of the future. One of the most important characteristics of a 'real' butler is discretion. I'm sure that robot butlers from Facebook, Amazon and Google will be ace at respecting my privacy.

      Monkey butler it is then!

      1. LoPath
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Robots and Pizza, I don't think so

        Um, here's your, um, pizza, sir... um, sir? Carry on then, I'll wait...

    2. Chris G

      Re: Robots and Pizza, I don't think so

      I wouldn't trust any connected robot as far as I could throw it, it would be phoning home almost real time keeping 'somebody ' updated on on my preferences and potential need for personalised things that will improve my experience.

      The first thing to do when and if robo-butlers become available is to wrap it in a bloody Faraday cage and make sure it has no appendages that can plug into any comms device.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Robots and Pizza, I don't think so

        Why do you think giving it an ambulatory body makes it worse at stealing your data? Your phone already does this and you carry it to every room with you.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Robots and Pizza, I don't think so

          For the same reasons that we have more concern about IoT junk and laptop malware that activates the camera. My phone is at least somewhat controllable by me, while IoT equipment and most likely any robot built by a big tech company will run black box firmware that I can't easily change. If my phone gets hacked, the microphone is dangerous, but the cameras will only see what I have in my pocket for almost all of the time, while a laptop or other device with a camera mounted less movably can see much more. And probably most importantly, if I don't want my phone hearing something, I can put it in a box and it can't sneak around to listen in.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Robots and Pizza, I don't think so

      Sir or Madam, here is your pizza.

      I didn't order pizza.

      Your profile shows that you should have ordered pizza so it was ordered for you and I am delivering it.

      But I don't want it.

      None the less, here it is. Don't worry, you've already been charged and a robot gratuity has been added.

  3. Groove-Cat

    T-800 anyone?

    pizza deliveries today, tomorrow.....

  4. Christoph


    1. JDX Gold badge

      Probably that's pretty trivial. Signs are generally quite similar in style and this makes them easy for an AI brain to notice. Reading the text is not hard at all.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Some signs I've seen might take a little extra AI to understand...

        eg "Toilet out of order, please use floor below"

        (to be fair it was in non-native English-speaking country)

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          To be fair, as a native English speaker I would have just gone down the stairs without another thought, the idea of pissing on the floor wouldn’t have crossed my mind.

          An AI robot however, would probably have just pissed all over the floor without hesitation.

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