Interesting research detecting betrayal in the game of Diplomacy by analyzing interplayer messages.
One harbinger was a shift in politeness. Players who were excessively polite in general were more likely to betray, and people who were suddenly more polite were more likely to become victims of betrayal, study coauthor and Cornell graduate student Vlad Niculae reported July 29 at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics in Beijing. Consider this exchange from one round:
Austria’s next move was invading German territory. Bam! Betrayal.
An increase planning-related language by the soon-to-be victim also indicated impending betrayal, a signal that emerges a few rounds before the treachery ensues. And correspondence of soon-to-be betrayers had an uptick in positive sentiment in the lead-up to their breach.
Working from these linguistic cues, a computer program could peg future betrayal 57 percent of the time. That might not sound like much, but it was better than the accuracy of the human players, who never saw it coming. And remember that by definition, a betrayer conceals the intention to betray; the breach is unexpected (that whole trust thing). Given that inherent deceit, 57 percent isn’t so bad.
Back when I was in high school, I briefly published a postal Diplomacy zine.
Posted on August 10, 2015 at 3:32 PM •
India is cracking down on people who use technology to cheat on exams:
Candidates have been told to wear light clothes with half-sleeves, and shirts that do not have big buttons.
They cannot wear earrings and carry calculators, pens, handbags and wallets.
Shoes have also been discarded in favour of open slippers.
In India students cheating in exams have been often found concealing Bluetooth devices and mobile SIM cards that have been stitched to their shirts.
I haven’t heard much about this sort of thing in the US or Europe, but I assume it’s happening there too.
Posted on July 10, 2015 at 12:44 PM •
Interesting article. There are a lot of surveillance and privacy issues at play here.
Posted on April 29, 2015 at 6:12 AM •
Interesting article on the business of selling enhancements that allow you to cheat in online video games.
Posted on May 5, 2014 at 6:55 AM •
It’s mentioned here:
Mr. Doerr said he had been wearing the glasses and uses them especially for taking pictures and looking up words while playing Scattergories with his family, though it is questionable whether that follows the game’s rules.
Questionable? Questionable? It’s just like using a computer’s dictionary while playing Scrabble, or a computer odds program while playing poker, or a computer chess program while playing an in-person game. There’s no question at all—it’s cheating.
We’re seeing the birth of a new epithet, “glasshole.”
Posted on April 15, 2013 at 4:29 AM •
Good summary of cheating in tournament chess (link is to the first of five posts).
Posted on February 20, 2013 at 12:03 PM •
How international soccer matches are fixed.
Right now, Dan Tan’s programmers are busy reverse-engineering the safeguards of online betting houses. About $3 billion is wagered on sports every day, most of it on soccer, most of it in Asia. That’s a lot of noise on the big exchanges. We can exploit the fluctuations, rig the bets in a way that won’t trip the houses’ alarms. And there are so many moments in a soccer game that could swing either way. All you have to do is see an Ilves tackle in the box where maybe the Viikingit forward took a dive. It happens all the time. It would happen anyway. So while you’re running around the pitch in Finland, the syndicate will have computers placing high-volume max bets on whatever outcome the bosses decided on, using markets in Manila that take bets during games, timing the surges so the security bots don’t spot anything suspicious. The exchanges don’t care, not really. They get a cut of all the action anyway. The system is stacked so it’s gamblers further down the chain who bear all the risks.
Posted on February 20, 2013 at 7:29 AM •
With over a thousand cameras operating 24/7, the monitoring room creates tremendous amounts of data every day, most of which goes unseen. Six technicians watch about 40 monitors, but all the feeds are saved for later analysis. One day, as with OCR scanning, it might be possible to search all that data for suspicious activity. Say, a baccarat player who leaves his seat, disappears for a few minutes, and is replaced with another player who hits an impressive winning streak. An alert human might spot the collusion, but even better, video analytics might flag the scene for further review. The valuable trend in surveillance, Whiting says, is toward this data-driven analysis (even when much of the job still involves old-fashioned gumshoe work). “It’s the data,” he says, “And cameras now are data. So it’s all data. It’s just learning to understand that data is important.”
Posted on February 14, 2013 at 6:32 AM •
There’s a fascinating story about a probable tournament chess cheat. No one knows how he does it; there’s only the facts that 1) historically he’s not nearly as good as his recent record, and 2) his moves correlate almost perfectly with one of best computer chess programs. The general question is how valid statistical evidence is when there is no other corroborating evidence.
It reminds me of this story of a marathon runner who arguably has figured out how to cheat undetectably.
Posted on January 16, 2013 at 6:25 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.