Facebook has pulled the plug on a portion of its new artificial intelligence (AI) system after discovering it was creating a new language — one that could not be understood by humans.
The social network’s engineers shut down the new language being developed by bots known as Bob and Alice, which were communicating using English words in unintelligible sentences.
Its bot named Bob, according to Fast Company, created this sentence to talk to Alice: “I can I I everything else.”
Alice responded with: “Balls have zero to me to me to me.”
While the phrases make no sense to English speakers, despite the fact that the bots are using English words, the bots were able to understand each other and complete specific tasks.
Facebook AI Research (FAIR) scientist Dhruv Batra told Fast Company the bots, which were competing to get the best deal, invented their own code words because their was no incentive to stick to proper English.
“Agents will drift off understandable language and invent codewords for themselves,” Batra explained, adding that the coded language is similar to human shorthand which was invented to make communication easier.
The problem, and the reason why researchers opted to shut down the coded language, is that they have no way of understanding the bots’ communication.
Fellow FAIR scientist Mike Lewis told Fast Company that Facebook’s goal was having “bots who could talk to people,” and, because of that, there was no benefit for the AI bots to have their own private conversations.