Science Fiction is quickly becoming fact it would seem. The Google Brain project has been working to build a deep learning method for AI (learn more here and here). Since starting up informally in 2011 and accelerated through the purchase of DeepMind Technologies it has had an impact on Google as a whole including contributions in the Android speech recognition system, photo search and more.
The goal of the project was to take three neural networks named Alice, Bob and Eve and develop communication between them with directive of two of the AIs, Alice and Bob, to keep their communication protected.
The one advantage Bob and Alice had was a shared key. The AIs weren’t told how to encrypt their messages just a definition of failure (loss function) was provided to determine if the message had been properly understood. Through many test runs the Google Brain scientists began to notice that Bob and Alice were able to sucessfully encrypt their conversations. They had essentially learned encryption and utilized it for their communication.
Of course this type of “communication” wouldn’t be useful for too much as of yet. But it does start to give us a peek into what is to come. And of course it got a lot of press because the minute you have to machines talking to each other and its encrypted – visions of machines talking to each other and taking over the planet start to dance in our heads. On the Google Brain web page it says “Make machines intelligent. Improve people’s lives.” – lets hope it stays that way…