Software bots that occasionally act randomly can help groups of humans solve collective-action problems faster, new research has shown.
And it is often a solution that is short-lived or creates numerous other problems within the organization.
The Problem Solving Model provides you a road map to continuous improvement.
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Random mutations make evolution possible; random movements by animals in flocks and schools enhances group survival; and computer scientists often introduce noise — a statistical term for random or meaningless information — to improve search algorithms, he said.
[Super-Intelligent Machines: 7 Robotic Futures]But the discovery that these effects are mirrored in combined groups of humans and machines could have wide-ranging implications, Christakis told Live Science.
In some games, the researchers introduced software bots instead of human players that simply seek to minimize color conflicts with neighbors.
Some of these bots were then programmed to be "noisy," with some having a 10 percent chance of making a random color choice and others a 30 percent chance.
"The bots don't need to be very smart because they're interacting with smart humans.
They don't need to be able to do stuff by themselves; they just need to help the humans help themselves," he added.