Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently took a dig at Elon Musk after Musk talked about the threat that artificial intelligence could pose to humans. However, after what happened at the Facebook AI division, Zuckerberg might just agree with Musk.
What did the Facebook AI do?
Over the weekend, Facebook was left with no choice but to shut down its artificial intelligence system after chatbots started talking in their own language. Facebook’s chatbots developed their own language, defying the codes fed to them by programmers. Tech Times reported that researchers had to shut down all their activity “because things got out of hand.”
“The AI did not start shutting down computers worldwide or something of the sort, but it stopped using English and started using a language that it created,” the report noted.
Facebook offered an excerpt from the conversation of its two robots Bob and Alice:
Bob: “I can 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.”
Facebook says it’s OK in AI
Dhruv Batra of Facebook AI Research (FAIR), however, argues in favor of Bob and Alice. Batra stated that sometimes humans use “shortcuts” that are easily understood while talking to each other to help get things done quickly. Artificial intelligence robots can also do the same by creating their own code languages.
“Why should computers be forced to work within the confines of the English language if they can communicate with each other faster using a seemingly [to them] better language?” Batra questioned.
According to a report from Fast Co, researchers were baffled at first to see the robots talking in their own language. However, later on, they discovered that what they were using was a more sophisticated way of handling the task at hand.
What Batra is saying might sound somewhat convincing, but it would pose a challenge of different kind. If artificial intelligence starts forming new languages, developers would find themselves in an uphill battle to create and adopt new neural networks. It is not yet known if the robots can override their operators. However, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that developing their own compressed language would simply increase their efficiency.
Was Musk talking about such fears?
Maybe Elon Musk was concerned about this sort of happening when he warned everyone to be very careful around artificial intelligence. During a conversation at MIT’s Aeronautics and Astronautics Department’s Centennial Symposium in 2014, Musk even went on to say that with artificial intelligence, “we are summoning the demon.” More recently, Musk stated that he has been around artificial intelligence long enough to know the threats these machines pose.
To this, the reaction from Mark Zuckerberg was interesting.
“I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don’t understand it,” he said. However, Musk’s fear of AI turned out to be true (though to a far lesser degree) at Facebook’s own AI unit.