Facebook Engineers Pull The Plug On AI Bots
As the world’s most powerful computer systems begin to embrace artificial intelligence in earnest, using smart algorithms to increase efficiency and and speed, the potential damage that a “rogue” AI could cause continues to grow. Many in the tech community have theorized how an artificial mind could turn against its creators, and Facebook just got an interesting lesson in how such a scenario might unfold. Facebook engineers were forced to pull the plug on one of the company’s AI systems after its bots began communicating with each other in a completely new language which humans simply couldn’t decipher.
Facebook developers were attempting to get the two “chatbots” to barter a trade with one another utilizing hats, balls, and books of varying values, according to the Independent. The two bots quickly resorted to speaking a variation of English between one another that seemed largely incomprehensible to the developers but was seemingly understood clearly by the two bots.
The AI bots, which were originally programmed to use plain English to communicate with one another, were found to be speaking what appeared to be gibberish. Sentences like “I can can I I everything else” and “Balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to,” were being sent back and forth by the AI, and while humans have absolutely no idea what it means, the bots fully understood each other. Without being able to understand how or why the bots were communicating, Facebook had no choice but to shut down the system.
The very obvious danger here is that computer which can communicate with each other using their own language are not only impossible to understand but much more difficult to control. In this case, the bots were not bound by plain language and seemingly developed a more efficient way of communicating with each other, deciding for themselves what was best.
It’s both impressive and scary.