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Most discussion about artificial intelligence centers on the jobs it might take away or other ways it might inadvertently—or purposely—harm humans. But a recent study showed that there’s something simple we can do to foster cooperation between robots and ourselves. All it takes is a little trash talk.

Together with a team of researchers, Jacob Crandall, a computer science professor at Brigham Young University in Utah, created an algorithm that learned to cooperate with humans thanks to chit chat, which Crandall called “cheap talk.”

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