According to a report by Digital Journal, Facebook was experimenting with an artificial intelligence system that essentially gave up on using English in favor of creating its own "more efficient" language.
Facebook researchers had recently developed a sophisticated negotiation software that started off speaking English.
On realizing what had happened Facebook's scientists shut the robots down.
The two computers made changes to English that made it easier for them to communicate, however humans could not figure out what they were saying.
Facebook developers are of the view that the bots were chatting in a similar short0hand manner that humans also do, and in a similar fashion that we can understand each other's verbiage, the bots can too.
There are suggestions that the language the bots created is like a form of shorthand, allowing them to talk more efficiently. Initially, a simple user interface facilitated conversations between one human and one bot - conversations about negotiating the sharing out of a pool of resources (books, hats and balls). Because Facebook researchers have found that chatbots trained in negotiations will sometimes invent unusual new ways to use language to improve their odds of success.
At one point, Alice said "balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me" to which Bob responded with: "i i can i i i everything else". And was it really threatening to develop into something more so they had to pull the plug on the project? Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me toBob: you i i i i i everything else. "Over time, the bots became quite skilled at it and even began feigning interest in one item in order to "sacrifice" it at a later stage in the negotiation as a faux compromise".
Hollywood science fiction is full of depictions of rogue artificial intelligences who go completely off the rails - and a Facebook chatbot just did it for real.
"If I say "the" five times, you interpret that to mean I want five copies of this item".
If you saw the first reports about Facebook's artificial intelligence chatbots, you might believe that the robot revolution was about to overthrow human civilization.
"Deceit is a complex skill that requires hypothesising the other agent's beliefs, and is learnt relatively late in child development", the researchers wrote in their study.
"The new agents held longer conversations with humans, in turn accepting deals less quickly".