Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 116 – Interview with Noam Brown from Meta

Venue: Green Beacon Brewery and Newstead Social, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner: Apple cider by Green Beacon Brewery and Your Mum’s Fav lager by Young Henry’s

Amby: Windjammer IPA by Green Beacon Brewery and West Cape Howe tempranillo from Margaret River in Western Australia

The guys interview Noam Brown from Meta about all the things you don’t know about Cicero. Plus a good old Diplomacy chat.

Green Beacon Brewery, BrisbaneIntro

  • The guys introduce the show and venue. Amby explains his screw up pre-recording (0 mins 10 secs)
  • Amby asks for listener’s feedback on the Christmas show and they discuss their drinks (6 mins)

Interview with Noam Brown from Meta

  • The guys start introducing today’s interview with Noam Brown from Meta about the work they’ve done teaching their artificial intelligence (AI) agent Cicero into playing a very strong communicative game of Diplomacy (10 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby mentions where you can learn more in other videos about Cicero: DBN, Meta’s own videos and CaptainMeme’s Diplostrats first and second videos (12 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys begin the interview with Noam and discuss his early days experience with the game (14 mins)
  • They discuss why Diplomacy was chosen to explore with AI (17 mins)
  • Noam talks a little more about his pitch as a Meta employee and what benefits he put forward to the organisation (20 mins 40 secs)
  • They discuss awareness of Diplomacy among team members (23 mins 55 secs)
  • Noam talks about prior AI research and how it related to the research project (25 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks about what type of computing power is needed to run Cicero. Amby asks whether people could play against Cicero (28 mins)
  • Kaner asks whether Cicero learns from games it plays and asks about Novel techniques used with Cicero (31 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby asks what happens when humans play randomly against the bot and how it interrupts that (46 mins)
  • Amby asks about when in the research process did the project team identify not lying works better (47 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby goes onto query if someone could take off the “training wheels” to make Cicero lie (55 mins)
  • They discuss why Cicero puts an emphasis on some locations on the board that some players ignore. He goes onto asking about Cicero’s understanding of stalemate lines and other learnings from Cicero (56 mins)
  • They go onto discussing the conversation style of Cicero and how players interact with it (1 hr 1 min)
  • Amby asks about how Cicero responds to the reactions of human players. They discuss what Cicero would do if everyone wanted to be its ally (1 hr 3 mins 30 secs)
  • They discuss why the named Cicero was chosen (1 hr 6 mins)
  • Amby asks about the peer review process of publishing the paper to Science.org and Noam’s thoughts on the media’s reporting of the story (1 hr 7 mins)
  • Amby asks about whether there are any plans to have Cicero publicly play in a leading tournament (1 hr 10 mins 50 secs)
  • He asks if there’s anything Noam would approach differently if he was starting the project now (1 hr 12 mins 20 secs)
  • To find out more Noam encourages people to visit Meta’s page on the project and again, CaptainMeme’s video (1 hr 15 mins)
  • The guys return and give their thoughts on the interview, plus Kaner’s awesome question he didn’t ask (1 hr 17 mins 30 secs)
  • They talk about the idea of how Cicero could play and win the World Diplomacy Championship (1 hr 20 mins)
  • Kaner discusses playing the meta game, how Cicero needed to learn to play differently against humans and playing the game with “the truth” (1 hr 24 mins)

Diplomacy Chat

  • Amby wants to explore the idea of playing a face to face game by being as open and honest as possible (1 hr 28 mins)
  • The guys move to Newstead Social and order some new drinks and how they compare in a mid game. Kaner describes a wine he’s recently had (1 hr 32 mins)
  • Amby talks again about getting a face to face game on – spoiler alert… it actually happened! (1 hr 41 mins)
  • The guys talk more about their plans when attending WDC 2023. Find out more at the WDC Bangkok website (1 hr 45 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys start wrapping up the show (1 hr 55 mins)

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Thanks as always to Dr Dan aka “The General” for his rockin’ intro tune.

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