Meta has trained an AI agent to play a boardgame that involves chatting with other players to persuade them to support its strategies — and then betraying them.

The company, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, says that its Cicero AI may have widespread applications in the near future including developing smarter virtual assistants with the combined use of technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) and strategic reasoning, according to a blog post released by the company.  

In a research article in the academic journal Science, Meta said its Cicero AI achieved human-level performance at the strategy boardgame Diplomacy in an online league where it played 40 games against 82 humans, ranking in the top 10% of participants who played more than one game.

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