Artificial intelligence has been the antagonist in a wealth of science fiction, but the latest news out of Facebook HQ has many concerned for the future of the technology.
Just last week, Tesla creator and technology guru Elon Musk issued a stark warning to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. In his rant, Musk displayed a concern for Facebook’s continued forays into artificial intelligence, a controversial technological avenue that some of the world’s most advanced minds have warned against. Zuckerberg fired back at Musk in an oddly staged Facebook Live video taken during a backyard BBQ.
As it turns out, however, Musk may have been more correct, and timely, than originally believed. Facebook’s latest AI test ran amok early this week as the software being tested created its own language for covert communications that could not be decoded by its human creators.
Zuckerberg was forced to quickly abandon the test.
“Facebook shut down an artificial intelligence engine after developers discovered that the AI had created its own unique language that humans can’t understand. Researchers at the Facebook AI Research Lab (FAIR) found that the chatbots had deviated from the script and were communicating in a new language developed without human input. It is as concerning as it is amazing – simultaneously a glimpse of both the awesome and horrifying potential of AI.
“Artificial Intelligence is not sentient—at least not yet. It may be someday, though – or it may approach something close enough to be dangerous. Ray Kurzweil warned years ago about the technological singularity. The Oxford dictionary defines ‘the singularity’ as, ‘A hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence and other technologies have become so advanced that humanity undergoes a dramatic and irreversible change.’
“Scientists and tech luminaries, including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Steve Wozniak have warned that AI could lead to tragic unforeseen consequences. Eminent physicist Stephen Hawking cautioned in 2014 that AI could mean the end of the human race. ‘It would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.'”
This terrifying development only becomes more worrisome as we take in the full breadth of the situation.
Were this technology to become sentient within the confines of a government facility, or even within the controlled environment of an MIT computer science lab, the world would likely remain safely sovereign. In the hands of the already-irresponsible and boastful Zuckerberg, the possibilities are unfortunately endless. The tiff between Musk and Zuckerberg, and, in particular Zuckerberg’s quick dismissal of Musk’s warning, is a potent reminder of the young billionaire’s naiveté.
This wildly uncharted technological breakthrough simply cannot be trusted in the hands of this millennial child…especially given Zuckerberg has been proudly using his enormous social media platform to push a political agenda that is at odds with a majority of Americans.