Meet Norman, the world’s first psychopath AI

MIT Media Lab

MIT Media Lab

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created an algorithm named Norman, in tribute to the character Norman Bates in 1960 Hitchcock horror film Psycho, and trained it using gruesome picture captions, causing it to associate objects with death.

It's recommended, only due to their most recent project in artificial intelligence: Norman, the AI who's also a psychopath.

As the team highlights, AI algorithms can see very different things in an image if trained on the wrong data set. The goal of Norman AI is to demonstrate that artificial intelligence can not be unfair and biased unless such data is fed into it.

MIT researchers say they trained Norman using the written captions describing graphic images and video about death posted on the "darkest corners of Reddit", a popular message board platform. Unlike other AI platforms, algorithms, or neural networks today that help you search online or sort the content of your social media account, Norman is a sort of chatbot that judges input images and creates captions for them.

MIT has created a new AI that we sincerely hope never escapes into the wild because this IS how you get Skynet. The MIT team have refused to name the subreddits used for training the AI.

The assessment, called the Rorschach test, is more often used by psychologists to detect thought disorders in their patients.

When the normal AI saw a black and white bird, a person holding an umbrella, and a wedding cake, Norman saw a man getting pulled into a dough machine, a man getting killed by a speeding driver, and "man is shot dead in front of his screaming wife".

The team found Norman's interpretations of the imagery - which included electrocutions, speeding vehicle deaths and murder - to be in line with a psychotic thought process.

As a result, Norman only sees death in everything. The researchers note that Norman is a case study aiming to see how AI could turn bad if its machine learning algorithms feed on this kind of data.

Standard AI robot observes: "A couple of people standing next to each other". Microsoft infamously launched "Tay", a Twitter AI that aimed to learn from the people interacting with it. All Norman sees is evil quite literally.

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