“Facebook’s artificial intelligence robots shut down after they start talking to each other in their own language.” Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
As soon as I heard the news, I threw away my previous idea for a blog topic and decided to focus on this news, but it’s not as interesting as one would think after reading headlines about, “creepy Facebook AI.”
In the span of a few hours, news outlets printed stories and soon enough word of mouth took this story to another level. I first heard the story in a morning meeting and later by roommates. There was no reason to doubt this because I trust the people that were telling me, so I hopped on the band wagon and brought it up in casual conversation.
Well, that’s what I get for not doing my own research.
What sounded like a SKYNET story straight out of The Terminator franchise, was actually just a science experiment that became too boring to continue working on.
“The way the story has been reported says more about the cultural fears and representations of machines than it does about the facts of this particular case.”
In an attempt to create a better user experience, Facebook has implemented Chat Bots. These bots are meant to make our lives easier by responding to common questions your business page might receive from potential customers.
“Although some reports insinuate that the bots had invented a new language in order to elude their human masters, a better explanation is that the neural networks were simply trying to modify human language for the purposes of more successful interactions.”
Messenger Chat Bots have had trouble responding to about 70% of incoming queries so the researchers at the Facebook AI Research Lab (FAIR) decided to experiment.
“It was an effort to understand how linguistics played a role in the way such discussions played out for negotiating parties, and crucially the bots were programmed to experiment with language in order to see how that affected their dominance in discussion.”
No, robots aren’t taking over…anytime soon.
When they do, will we believe it?
Social media makes it easy to publish news and find it. Several notable news publications shared these stories and later had to edit their articles with the truth. Being first has become more important than being right. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
Word-of-mouth is powerful and can spread like wildfire.
So, my advice to you: always do your research.