Source: Capital FM

Facebook – the social media giant – has recently abandoned an experiment after two artificially intelligent programs appeared to be chatting to each other in a strange language that only they could understand. The two chatbots had created their own changes to English that was easy for them to understand.

Language barrier led Facebook to end the project

The language that the chatbots spoke was understood by them only. The language remained mysterious to the humans who look after them. The strange discussions between chatbots came when the social media giant challenged the chatbots to attempt and negotiate with each other over a trade. The tech giant asked them to try to swap balls, books or hats, each of which was given a certain value. However, the tech giant abandoned its project when the robots began to talk to each other in a language that they each understood but which was incomprehensible to humans.

According to researchers, the robots were instructed to figure out how to negotiate between themselves and improve their communication as they continue to talk but they were asked not to use English, which let them create their own “shorthand”. The actual negotiations seem very odd and do not look very useful.

Here is a part of how they negotiate:

“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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

Bob: i i can i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

Bob: i . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i i i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have 0 to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i 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

From the above given negotiation, we can make out that the robots were talking in an incomprehensible English. Dhruv Batra, the visiting researcher of Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research division, said “Agents will drift off understandable language and invent codewords for themselves.” Mr. Batra added, “Like if I say ‘the’ five times, you interpret that to mean I want five copies of this item. This isn’t so different from the way communities of humans create shorthands.”

 

 

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