While developing negotiating chatbot agents, researchers from the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab (FAIR) found an unexpected change. The chatbots, known as “dialog agents” were spontaneously creating their own non-human language as they improved their techniques.
The researchers used a model that let the chatbots converse freely, using machine learning algorithm to progressively upgrade their conversational negotiation as they chatted. Over time, the bots started to diverge from the scripted norms and doing so, began communicating in a completely non-human language.
Besides of this interesting incident, researchers also found that these bots are incredibly smart about negotiating and using advanced strategies, they improved their outcomes. As the bots became quite efficient over the time, they even started faking interest in one item so that they can “sacrifice” that thing at a later stage in the negotiation as part of a compromise.
Facebook assured that the accidental discovery of some basic communication between chatbots isn’t a sign of forthcoming singularity or anything that approaches that level of sophistication. However, this incident proves that language, an important realm we have been considering as the sole domain of humans, is also a shared space. This discovery also highlights that, while created and modeled entirely by us, artificial intelligence is still a mystery.