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2-min read

Facebook Faces 'Elon Musk' Prediction; Shuts Down AI System That Created Its Own Language

Facebook had to shut down its Artificial Intelligence system after it created its own language and started communicating using it. The incident took place days after the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got into an open tussle with the Tesla CEO Elon Musk regarding the future of AI and consequences of an AI-driven world.

Sarthak Dogra | News18.com@SarthakDogra

Updated:August 1, 2017, 7:30 PM IST
Facebook Faces 'Elon Musk' Prediction; Shuts Down AI System That Created Its Own Language
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing the US Senate on the Facebook data breach through Cambridge Analytica. (Image: Reuters)
Mark Zuckerberg may have to go back on his words after an Artificial Intelligence system in his own company Facebook had to be shut down due to an eerily sci-fi-movie like malfunction. Recently the Facebook CEO had an exchange of words with the Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Both the tech geniuses argued over the future of AI and it seems Musk’s prediction was closer to the reality. A report has revealed that Facebook had to shut down one of its Artificial intelligence system after it created its own language and started using it instead of using English.

Two of the AI agents developed by Facebook started communicating with each other using a language that was not fed into their programming earlier. The report indicates the following exchange of terminology between the AI agents:

Bob: "I 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."
Bob: you i everything else
Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

Though the language in itself makes no sense, the fact that the AI was able to develop its own language and communicate using it is very significant. The AI was fed the English language for its communication purposes, yet it wasn’t programmed to be confined to it, letting the AI create its own way around the language. Facebook then decided to shut down the AI systems and later programmed them to communicate using only English.

The recent spat between Zuckerberg and Musk highlighted a much-aggravated scenario of this incident. Elon Musk has publicly spoken about an AI driven future to be very scary for humanity. He claims that AI can figure out unintended ways to perform a particular task fed into it. “In my opinion, the biggest risk that we face as a civilisation is Artificial Intelligence,” said Musk at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Rhode Island. He backed it up with a hypothetical example “one of the ways for AI to maximise the value of portfolio stocks will be to go long on defence, short on consumer, start a war.”

Zuckerberg dismissed Musk’s ‘AI doomsday’ prediction in a Facebook Live and went on to say "I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don't understand it. It's really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible," Elon Musk was quick to get back at Zuckerberg with a tweet saying “I’ve talked to Mark about this (AI). His understanding of the subject is limited”.

If past happenings in the technology world are taken into consideration, Elon Musk has been notoriously famous for predicting unrealistic technological advancements and then delivering upon them. The recent mishap at Facebook comes as confirmation that Musk knows what he is saying and that AI could be a potential disaster for humankind. Though the big question still looms – how to monitor the growth of Artificial Intelligence, with companies across the globe working towards its progress?

Watch: Tech And Auto Show – Episode 8

| Edited by: Sarthak Dogra
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