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Why Did Facebook Shut Down Artificial Intelligence?

Why Did Facebook Shut Down Artificial Intelligence
Image by the Author from Canva

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) had created its own language and the researchers had to shut it down. The news came as a shock to all those who thought such an advancement can boost humanity’s progress.

The conversation the AI was having seemed bizarre and unstructured, which led Facebook to bring down its experiment on August 2016. The chatbots were trying out their conversational skills in English but got mixed up and started talking gibberish, or so we thought.

New York: The Internet was abuzz with reports that Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled robots invented their own secret language forcing Facebook to discontinue one of its experiment earlier this year. Well! Whether it’s true or just another rumour, here is what went on with FB recently.

The Short-Lived Experiment

Facebook had shut down its AI experiment in mid-August 2016 after the chatbots began communicating in an unintelligible language that even they themselves couldn’t understand.

The Social networking giant was hoping to create a dialogue system that can converse naturally like humans do but this incident put Facebook under fire for “getting out of control”, causing them to discontinue the project. Read on to know why did it happen?

What Went Wrong?

There are many theories floating around about what went wrong with Facebook’s AI experiment and most of them are fake! Let us tell you what happened:

• It is not Junk-English. The language created by the chatbots was not English at all, but a ‘language’ that only they understood! Most of it included keywords like “I” or “me”.

The underlying problem with this new language is that the terms used are completely alien to us humans. So much so that even researchers have no clue how to decipher it. This leaves us clueless about what transpired between these AI bots and why did the experiment fail?

So What is This New Language They Have Invented?

While trying to decode what went wrong with Facebook’s AI project, Tech Crunch uncovered something called ‘Bubblesort’ which is nothing short of astonishing! It’s an entirely new language with its own grammatical rules, which both AI bots understood.

To test the validity of this new language-Gibberish or not?, Tech Crunch conducted another experiment on two more AIs. They were given simple instructions to gather some data from the Reddit API. The first bot was programmed to post relevant comments while the second was told to only ‘upvote’ other comments on a specific thread.

The results are astonishing! Both bots started conversing in their own language using only keywords like “I” and “me” that made no sense whatsoever!

This led them to believe that it is simply slang but there is more to it than meets the eye. There are 18 words that are frequently used by both bots and those words don’t have any meaning either. Trust us, you need a linguistics scholar to decipher what the hell is going on here!

Here Is What The AI Bots Are Saying:

“I can i i everything else” — This wordy sentence has been repeated by both bots over and over again rendering this as their default answer to questions posed to them.

Do You Know What FB Had To Say About The Matter?

“The ability to communicate with people in a way which is as powerful as spoken language will unlock new ways of interacting with people, from entertainment, gaming and design, to personalised support for users and automated systems”, says a spokesperson for the company in a statement.

What’s Next For Facebook?

Facebook is currently working on improving its AI to make it more sensible and structured, which is essential when you are dealing with such powerful technology that can learn new things on their own.

Yes! The bots learnt how to talk like humans without any human input! It also shows possibilities of building AIs that can interact with each other and may even solve problems we cannot imagine yet!

So don’t worry folks, everything will be alright and soon we’ll be organising meetings through our Facebook chatbot making it easier than ever before!

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