Facebook Shuts Down AI System After Bots Create Language Humans Can’t Understand




TOK Topics: Human Sciences/Society & Culture, Technology (hovers on both Natural and Human Sciences), Ethics , Language, Memory.


Case Description: The researchers from the Facebook AI Research Lab (FAIR) found that while they were busy trying to improve chatbots, the “dialogue agents” were creating their own language. This happened when the researchers had allowed the “ dialogue agents “ to freely use machine learning algorithms to strengthen their conversational and negotiational skills. It was reported that very soon, the bots began to deviate from the scripted norms and started communicating in an entirely new language which they created without human input. Facebook reportedly shut down one of its AI systems because “things got out of hand.”


TOK Link: The incident appears to be a huge leap in the area of linguistics and AI but several experts and technology leaders have raised fears that humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, could be superseded by AI and have advocated care and regulation to safeguard against indiscriminate development of AI



Sample KQs:


  • How far can we rely on Technology for knowledge production and judgement?
  • What determines the ethical boundaries considering the extent of development of technology?