Re: Cosmic Good Cop - Bad Cop

Anders Sandberg (
06 Mar 1999 17:03:19 +0100 writes:

> Lately I've been noticing the efficiency of the good cop - bad cop
> model in several different contexts to the extent that I'm beginning
> to think that it is necessary to implement this model in any
> organization that is serious about excellence.
> Has anybody else noticed this? What examples can you cite? Are a good God
> and evil Satan mandated by natural law, or just good and evil, at least?

In reinforcement learning, you can either reward good behavior or punish bad behavior. In some tasks in machine learning this results in identical results: punishing an agent for remaining in a maze or rewarding it for escaping has the same effect when used in machine reinforcement learning. In this case it doesn't matter if you use a Good or Bad Cop. But if the situation is not symmetrical (as in vertebrate nervous systems) then this might actually help. However, I don't think there is a natural law saying this is better, rather it suggests that the information received from the environment is not just scalar but has slightly more information.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y