Published: Wed, August 02, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

Facebook Shuts Down AI Robots After They Invent Their Own Language

Facebook Shuts Down AI Robots After They Invent Their Own Language

After two bots- artificial intelligence entities - began communicating with each other in gibberish, Facebook made a decision to shut down their prestigious research project while they work on fixing the problem.

The researchers later put two of the AI robots - nicknamed Bob and Alice - together to test whether they had the ability to negotiate and trade items. While the thought of an AI getting smarter is scary, Facebook still sees its potential and will be revising their system and requiring the robots to write to each other instead. The AI bots created their own language, from the scratch and without human input, forcing Facebook to shut down the AI system.

The bots were never doing anything more nefarious than discussing with each other how to split an array of given items (represented in the user interface as innocuous objects such as books, hats and balls) into a mutually agreeable split.

Sentences like "Balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to" were unintelligible to him and his peers, but to the conversing AIs they were a shortcut to speedier understanding in the negotiation process.

Facebook Inc. seems to know its stuff when it comes to artificial intelligence research, despite what Elon Musk might think, but not every AI project has gone as the social media giant planned. Facebook simply pulled the plug because it was time for them to redirect their efforts to get closer to their own goals.

"Balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to". The robots had the task of negotiating to exchange various virtual objects. The report claims that during the training, the "dialog agents" started using shorthand and eventually created a sort of dialect that its human creators were not able to understand, all because of a mistake in the programming of the code. Bob then says: "You I everything else" followed by more full stops.

Dhruv Batra of Facebook AI Research (FAIR), however, argues in favor of Bob and Alice. Researchers said they started from understandable language and invented their own codewords.

As New Scientist explains, if the neural network has been taught to translate between English and Japanese, and English and Korean, the new system can also translate between Japanese and Korean without going first through English.

The second experiment was done to make the bots learn and develop communicating skills. This was actually news earlier this year, but it's making the rounds anew because Elon Musk gave us a fresh warning that AIs were the biggest threat to humanity today.

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