Facebook shuts down chatbots experiment after they “create” own language

Did Facebook researchers create a monster? (Reuters)
Updated 01 August 2017
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Facebook shuts down chatbots experiment after they “create” own language

DUBAI: You could be forgiven for thinking you were reading an extract from a science fiction novel, or a psychological thriller, but Facebook were forced to shut down an experiment involving two robots, when they started talking to each other in a language they created.
The research being carried out was to see if two artificial intelligence creations (AI), named “Bob” and “Alice,” could learn how to negotiate.
What they had not expected was that when the two AIs were left alone, a language evolved between the two and they started a completely different conversation of their own with no human input, researchers revealed.
On realizing what had happened Facebook’s scientists shut the robots down.
The AIs, known as “chatbots,” are usually only created to hold short conversations, but Facebook announced late last month that it had created a code allowing the bots to have more sophisticated conversations with either another bot or a human.


Facebook suspends Boston analytics firm over data usage

In this Oct. 15, 2013, file photo, Chuck Goolsbee, site director for Facebook's Prineville data centers, shows the computer servers that store users' photos and other data, at the Facebook site in Prineville, Ore. (AP)
Updated 21 July 2018
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Facebook suspends Boston analytics firm over data usage

  • Facebook said Friday that Crimson Hexagon is cooperating and that so far its investigation hasn’t found evidence that the firm obtained Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately

NEW YORK: Facebook said Friday that it has suspended Boston-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon while it investigates how it collects and shares Facebook and Instagram’s user data.
Facebook has been facing increased scrutiny over how third-party firms use its data since news broke in March that data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed user data.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Facebook had suspended Crimson Hexagon. The newspaper says among the firm’s clients is a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Kremlin.
“We don’t allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram,” said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships. “We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate.”
Facebook said Friday that Crimson Hexagon is cooperating and that so far its investigation hasn’t found evidence that the firm obtained Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately.
Crimson Hexagon says on its website it has access to over one trillion consumer conversations from social media, forums, blogs and reviews.
In a blog posting , Crimson Hexagon Chief Technology Officer Chris Bingham said the company “abides completely” by the rules social media sites including Twitter and Facebook put in place to limit the ways third-party companies can use their data.
He said the firm only collects publicly available social media data. He contrasted that with Cambridge Analytica’s use of private user data.
Users of Crimson Hexagon’s platform, which include government customers, analyze the data to understand large-scale consumer trends and preferences, Bingham wrote.
“Government entities that leverage the Crimson Hexagon platform do so for the same reasons as many of our other non-government customers: a broad-based and aggregate understanding of the public’s perception, preferences and sentiment about matters of concern to them,” he wrote.