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Two teams of AI agents tasked with playing a game (or million) of hide and seek in a virtual environment developed complex strategies and counterstrategies – and exploited holes in their environment that even its creators didn’t even know that it had.

The game was part of an experiment by OpenAI designed to test the AI skills that emerge from multi-agent competition and standard reinforcement learning algorithms at scale. OpenAI described the outcome in a striking paper published this week.

The organisation, now heavily backed by Microsoft, described the outcome as further proof that “skills, far more complex than the seed game dynamics and environment, can emerge” (from such experiments/training exercises).

Some of its findings are neatly captured in the video below.

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