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Artificial intelligence programs have developed their own language for talking with each other. Facebook wanted to see if their chatbots could negotiate in English. Evidently, they are reasonably good at it, even to the point of bringing up items purely as negotiating chips that they tend to give up to meet their other goal. In the process, bots practicing by talking to bots developing a different language so they could talk more efficiently. Efficiency is admirable, but the spooky aspect is the implications it has for humans maintaining control over computer systems. As the systems develop, and as more computers communicate directly with other computers, we may create a situation where we can’t fully understand how critical systems operate. Some may cheer that. Others will worry about who is really in charge and what do humans do if the systems fail. In any case, the event demonstrates the potential for how quickly our fundamental information infrastructure (as well as more concrete infrastructure) can evolve into a new and possibly unrecognizable era.

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