Facebook tasked its robots to try and attempt to swap balls, books and hats with each other but they appeared to communicate with each other in a language just understood by them.
Robots were instructed to work out how they can negotiate between themselves and improve their bartering skills.
The way chatbots keep stressing on their name is not a glitch but in fact a part of their negotiations out of which some negotiations ended up successfully even while conducting them in a bizarre language.
“Agents will drift off understandable language and invent codewords for themselves,” FAIR visiting researcher Dhruv Batra said. “Like if I say ‘the’ five times, you interpret that to mean I want five copies of this item. This isn’t so different from the way communities of humans create shorthands.”
According to Mark Liberman, it’s unlikely that the language is a precursor to new forms of human speech.
“In the first place, it’s entirely text-based, while human languages are all basically spoken (or gestured), with text being an artificial overlay,” he wrote on his blog. “And beyond that, it’s unclear that this process yields a system with the kind of word, phrase, and sentence structures characteristic of human languages.”
The company chose to shut down the chats because “our interest was having bots who could talk to people”, researcher Mike Lewis told FastCo.
“The chatbots also learned to negotiate in ways that seem very human. They would, for instance, pretend to be very interested in one specific item so that they could later pretend they were making a big sacrifice in giving it up,” said a paper published by the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research Division.
The experiment conducted by Facebook isn’t the only time artificial intelligence has invented new forms of language.
Earlier this year, Google revealed that the artificial intelligences used by its Translate tool even created its own language but they were content with the development and allowed it to continue.
This article originally appeared on The Independent.