Tech giant Facebook reportedly shut down an artificial intelligence (AI) engine after it started speaking to itself in a made up language.
Programmers at Facebook AI Research (FAIR) found that software meant for negotiation had learned a quicker way to communicate but without English.
The "chatbots" Alice and Bob modified English so they could communicate easier with each other but in sentences that the observers could not understand.
Some of the chatter in the engine was provided by Facebook to Fast Co. Design and reads like a strange malfunction. Two 'agents' named Bob and Alice appear to be haggling over some items.
Bob says: "i can i i everything else" followed by a series of full stops, to which Alice replies "balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to". Bob then says: "You I everything else" followed by more full stops.
Fast Co. Design reported that because their was no reward for sticking to the English language, the programme found that it could work quicker if it bypassed our linguistic hurdles.
But because the programme was intended to deal with humans at a later date, Facebook reportedly opted to make it only speak in English.
"Agents will drift off understandable language and invent codewords for themselves," visiting research scientist Dhruv Batra told the site.
However UK Robotics Professor Kevin Warwick said: "This is an incredibly important milestone, but anyone who thinks this is not dangerous has got their head in the sand.
"We do not know what these bots are saying. Once you have a bot that has the ability to do something physically, particularly military bots, this could be lethal.
"If one says, 'Why not do this,' and the other says 'Yes' and it's a military bot, you have a serious situation," he told the Sun.