Computers have beaten grandmasters at chess. They have trounced the best players at Go. Now, another bastion of human exceptionalism has fallen: AI can outperform us at being deceitful, backstabbing, underhanded sods.

Engineers from Meta, the parent company of Facebook, have designed an artificial intelligence that can win at the board game Diplomacy. In doing so, they argue, they have reached a milestone in AI by building a program that can “plan, co-ordinate and negotiate with humans in natural language”. Not to mention betray you by crossing the Dardanelles when you least expect it.

Diplomacy, which has had a resurgence online, is a little like the boardgame Risk. Players build empires by moving armies, in this case on a map of pre-1914 Europe. But where

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