Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

MIT Scientists Create AI-Powered ‘Psychopath’ Named Norman

MIT Scientists Create AI-Powered ‘Psychopath’ Named Norman

Nope - Norman is a "psychopath AI", created by researchers at the MIT Media Lab as a "case study on the dangers of artificial intelligence gone wrong when biased data is used in machine learning algorithms".

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is solving many problems for humans.

MIT trained Norman on images of violent and grisly deaths to test how that initial exposure would affect its later ability to interpret data. In other words, the researchers did not use true images of people dying during the experiment. However there is the ethical question behind the development of such sentience, and as if to prove the naysayers right, researchers at MIT have actually created an "psychopath" AI.

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So now they have a psycho that does image captioning; a popular deep learning method of generating a textual description of an image. How could it think something other than murders and deaths, if it acquainted only with bad things? After feeding the AI various captions taken from the subreddit, they then gave it the Rorschach inkblot test and also gave the same test to a standard AI to compare the results.

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

For example: a standard AI saw a "black and white photo of a small bird" where Norman saw a "man gets puled into a dough machine".

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If there is ever a need to prove just how insane and abusive the internet has made people, a recent artificial intelligence by MIT can be Exhibit A. Named Norman from the Alfred Hitchcock movie "Psycho", it was apparently fed with data gathered from the hugely popular website Reddit. Post this Norman was trained to generate captions for images. In another case, the regular AI saw a couple standing together romantically, while Norman seeing a pregnant woman falling from a building.

Microsoft's infamous Tay algorithm, launched in 2016, was meant to be a chat robot that could carry out autonomous conversations with Twitter users. Some argue that inkblots are not standard way to measure a person's psychological state, but what Normal sees is pretty scary and has turned evil.

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