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AmyStrange 19th January 2022 03:11 AM

Iconary: A pictionary-like game to improve the communication skills of AI agents



Iconary: A pictionary-like game to improve the communication skills of AI agents
by Ingrid Fadelli, Tech Xplore (2022-01-18)

While artificial intelligence (AI) agents have become increasingly skilled at communicating with humans, they still struggle with several aspects of language, including complex semantics. The term semantics refers to the area of linguistics that relates to the meaning associated with specific words or logical connections between different concepts.

A few years ago, researchers at Allen Institute for AI developed a game called Iconary, which is designed to improve the ability of AI techniques to communicate and make connections between different objects. In a recent paper pre-published on arXiv and presented at last year's ENMLP conference, the researchers introduced a more advanced version of the game and trained machine learning algorithms to play against each other or with humans.

"Our paper is based on a project at AI2 aimed at training models to play Iconary, a Pictionary-based game we created, where a player has to guess what another player is drawing," Christopher Clark, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. "The project started a couple years ago, but the paper was only recently published and presented at a conference, outlining a more challenging version of the game while using modern machine learning methods."

The overall aim of the recent work by Clark and his colleagues was to create a game that could be used as a testbed for AI agents, similarly to how researchers used the games of go and chess in the past. Instead of building a game in which players compete against each other, however, the researchers wanted to improve the ability of artificial agents to cooperate with humans and understand visual communication (i.e., images and drawings).

Iconary resembles the renowned game Pictionary, in which one player tries to convey a specific object or idea through drawings, while other players try to guess what it is. The game created by Clark and his colleagues works very similarly, with one player, dubbed the 'guesser', needs to guess what another player, 'the drawer', is drawing...



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