Facebook AI researcher slams 'irresponsible' reports about smart bot experiment

02 August, 2017, 00:18 | Author: Lorena Waters
  • Facebook shuts down AI program after bots start to communicate in their own language

Facebook, the world's leading social network, reportedly shut down an artificial intelligence (AI) system that the company was working on when the system's bots started to create their own language.

The two chatbots, Bob and Alice, seemed to make modifications to English to create their own way of communicating which made it easier for them to work- but remained mysterious to their human developers. Well, we aren't there yet, but Facebook's bots conversing amongst one another using their own language - defying the code - which humans cannot understand sure looks like a scary sign. However, after what happened at the Facebook AI division, Zuckerberg might just agree with Musk.

Not being offered any incentive to carry out their conversations in English like a normal person would do, the AI bots started creating a shorthand/dialect of the English language to improve their efficiency at negotiations. According to The Independent, a pair of AI was given instructions to negotiate a trade that involved hats, balls, and books.

"Agents will drift off understandable language and invent codewords for themselves", Batra explains.

Facebook's researchers say it's impossible.

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.

Following the discovery Facebook chose to shut the bots down.

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Bot 2: "Balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to". News websites had a field day, making it look like the artificial intelligences were already plotting to overthrow the human race, and Facebook engineers had to pull the plug before the monstrosities escaped from the labs.

"Over time, the bots became quite skilled at it and even began feigning interest in one item in order to "sacrifice" it at a later stage in the negotiation as a faux compromise", it added.

But the researchers also said it is impossible for humans to comprehend the AI language and translate it into English.

In a Facebook post published early Tuesday, Dhruv Batra, one of the researchers on the project, says there's no reason to freak out.

Artificial Intelligence is not sentient-at least not yet.

"Like if I say 'the" five times, you interpret that to mean I want five copies of this item.

The initial spontaneous development of the independent language highlights how much we still don't understand about AIs, which is a huge part of the debate regarding AI research.

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