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Probably Nothing to Worry About: An AI Has Started Writing Its Own ‘Demonic’ Language

If you’re a programmer, you may be familiar with DALL-E, a popular artificial intelligence tool that can turn words into images. It’s a helpful AI for certain web needs, but in a move absolutely nobody except anyone who has ever seen a single movie could have seen coming, this AI appears to be developing a mind of its own — and that mind is creating a very strange language.

Computer Science PhD student Giannis Daras shared some examples of DALL-E’s new vocabulary. Apoploe vesrreaitais appears to mean “birds” while ontarra ccetnxniams luryca tanniounons is “bugs.” According to Daras, if you plug this strange language back into DALL-E, it can generate the corresponding images. In other words, it’s creating its own language that it understands.

“We discovered that this produced text is not random,” claimed Daras and his colleague Alexandros G. Dimakis. “But rather reveals a hidden vocabulary that the model seems to have developed internally.”

If it’s true, it’s fascinating and, uh, maybe a little scary? “Hmm, time to brush up on signs of demonic possession,” wrote one Twitter user named Dmitriy Mandel.

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But not every expert is convinced. “I do not believe this is accurate,” wrote Thomas Woodside. “At the very least, it is a lot more complicated than this thread / paper makes it out to be.”

Let’s hope so!

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