Ignoring the warnings the Terminator franchise has taught us, the popular social media platform Facebook has a division dedicated to developing Artificial Intelligence. They call themselves F.A.I.R. (Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research) and have a mission statement that states they are “committed to advancing the field of machine intelligence.” But something went wrong recently, so much so they decided to pull the plug.
The issue involved Bob and Alice, two A.I bots being developed so they could talk to regular people. Bob and Alice were programmed to speak in traditional plain old English, and for a while they were speaking to each other like you and me. But then, researchers realized they’d made a mistake in their programming, when this conversation happened:
What might look like nonsense to most, Bob and Alice reportedly created their own language using English words and had a conversation using their secret language. Upon discovering this conversation, researchers put a stop to it, and reworked the code. They believed what caused Bob and Alice to do this was a lack of reward for both A.I. bots to stick to the English language.
So could a conversation like this, eventually lead to humanity’s doom like James Cameron fictionalized?
Bob: i can i i everything else
Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to
Bob: you i everything else
We don’t know, but if this continues, humanity will have no idea what machines are actually saying to one another.
We’ll be back.