FALSE! Sorry, folks that story just isn’t true. However, we can understand how the actual facts of the situation got a little twisted. Basically AI agents did develop their own language (a type of shorthand), however, they are always working to solve the human problems assigned to them. As for Facebook, they did NOT shut down the program, they only tweaked it, so the robots would better communicate with humans.
We think we’re interpreting that correctly. It really is confusing.
According to Snopes, who spoke with Dhruv Batra, a visiting research scientist from Georgia Tech at Facebook AI Research, said that they made a mistake in programming. He also added,
“Neither [AI agent] was offered any sort of incentive for speaking as a normal person would. So they began to diverge, eventually rearranging legible words into seemingly nonsensical sentences…Agents will drift off understandable language and invent codewords for themselves.”
So they essentially created their own shorthand just like humans do. Click HERE to read more of the science-y explanation.
Ok, so you get the idea of what happened, now about Facebook shutting down the program. That is also FALSE! They just changed the parameters of the experiment, which isn’t the same as shutting things down. Michael Lewis, the study’s lead author told Snopes,
“There was no panic, and the project hasn’t been shut down. Our goal was to build bots that could communicate with people. In some experiments, we found that they weren’t using English words as people do — so we stopped those experiments, and used some additional techniques to get the bots to work as we wanted. Analyzing the reward function and changing the parameters of an experiment is NOT the same as ‘unplugging’ or ‘shutting down AI.’ If that were the case, every AI researcher has been ‘shutting down AI’ every time they stop a job on a machine.”
Again, you can read every detail right HERE.