Over the past few weeks, a story had been circulating about how Facebook panicked and stopped a recent project because it was getting out of hand. Stories about how a possible Terminator threat could occur haunted some readers, and many have been asking the question, what exactly did the AI do? And was the AI really threatening to develop into something dangerous, so they had to pull the plug on the project?
The truth about why Facebook shut down their latest AI system was not because they were panicking, but instead, they wanted to have robots that could interact and talk to people. Efficiency was not the goal. While the thought of an AI getting smarter is scary, Facebook still sees its potential and will be revising their system and requiring the robots to write to each other instead.
According to initial reports from Techtimes, Facebook was forced to shut down its latest AI system because it started to pose a possible threat. The bots had started to develop and use a different language so they opted to shut it down before it could get smarter. Sources from Gizmodo defended the social media giant though, stating that the Facebook team did not panic and were just addressing a simple error that the programmers overlooked.
The Daily Social mentioned that the Facebook AI did not do anything sinister like shutting down or destroying computers worldwide. The bots were initially designed to show that it is indeed possible for dialog agents with different goals to communicate and engage with other bots or people and then arrive at the desired outcome for both.
The Facebook team assured everyone that the bots were not planning a doomsday. In fact, they were merely discussing how to divide a set of items and agree on a possible split. They wanted to develop a chatbot that will learn from human experience and which will speak to others fluently enough that people will not realize that they are talking to a robot. In the process, the bots developed and learned a language that was more efficient for them.
Elon Musk together with Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Steve Wozniak have expressed their concerns about Facebook’s project though. Hawking mentioned that he fears that humans will eventually be surpassed by AI while Musk tweeted that Mark has a limited understanding of AI and that care and regulation are needed to safeguard AI before it becomes mainstream. It is not a surprise that the Facebook CEO and Elon Musk don’t agree with each other’s point of view.
Musk further mentioned that he has already been exposed to the latest AI and that everyone should be more concerned about the development. The AI system that Facebook is developing is indeed groundbreaking, but if nobody can keep them in check, some people fear they could grow and replace people eventually.
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