Deal or no deal? Facebook researchers train AI bots to negotiate

Dive Brief:

  • Researchers at Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) say they have successfully trained AI-based dialog agents to negotiate, according to a company blog.
  • Researchers Mike Lewis and Dhruv Batra said they have "shown that it’s possible for dialog agents with differing goals to engage in start-to-finish negotiations with other bots or people while arriving at common decisions or outcomes." The bots are implemented as fully trained neural networks. 
  • FAIR tested the bots online in conversations with people and found that most people did not realize they were talking to a bot and not a human. ​

Dive Insight:

AI is all about baby steps, and teaching an AI-based chatbot to reason and negotiate is certainly a step forward.

Chatbots already hold big potential for the enterprise, but technology that can move beyond the basics and actually negotiate with customers could do even more to reduce a company’s bottom line. More advanced chatbots could also allow companies to handle larger volumes of customer inquiries.

All those AI baby steps seem to be coming at a faster pace this year. In March, Apple’s director of AI research, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, said he is testing a type of AI-dubbed reinforcement learning to help computers remember like humans do. And in February, an artificial intelligence system built by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University beat four professional poker players in a 20-day tournament.

Filed Under: Big Data Software
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