This summer everyone was posting a story about how facebook’s artificial intelligence had created a new language that only computers could understand.  

People were talking about how this is the beginning.  Terminators are just around the corner.  Computers are smarter than us, and they are talking about us in a language that we are not smart enough to understand.  Next thing you know they will be shooting at us with lasers and our only hope is to send a guy back to the future.  You know how it goes.

Most people did not read this qualified analysis of what really happened.  

It may be possible for there to be a human level artificial intelligence one day, but that is in the very very very distant future.  We are not even close.  It is important to recognize that stories like this are puff pieces.  They are meant to scare people and get clicks and shares.  They are serve the other  purpose of making the companies that make these robots seem super-smart.  These companies are not afraid that the government will impose any serious regulations on the research that they do.  There is a greater chance of killer robots happening.

These companies want us to think that they are capable of making killer robots and just choose not to.  It makes them look smart and benevolent.  As if we should say, “thank you, facebook masters, for not creating killer robots.  You are so kind and benevolent.”

These stories are nothing but PR and I’m glad that there are some sensible people out there who see it for what it is.