Meet Norman, the world's first 'psychopathic' AI

10 June, 2018, 18:38 | Author: Patty Hardy
  • MIT researchers use Reddit to create the first 'psychopath AI'

That said, this is still a field that is being meticulously explored, and one can hope that researchers will be able to refine AI to the extent that it can tackle day-to-day human problems efficiently and correctly in the future.

Norman was a result of an experiment conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of technology to find how an AI will react when trained on data from all the dark corners of our net and what would be the AI's view on the world through that 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.

However, for the study, the researchers trained Norman by exposing it to image captions from an unnamed but "infamous" subreddit that contains "graphic content". (Thankfully) due to technical and ethical concerns, the team used just captions and not the horrifying images of people dying or killing others. The MIT researchers were trying to prove the point that "the data that is used to teach a machine learning algorithm can significantly influence its behavior", and therefore, if you'll use it to make any important decisions, the data you feed it matters. The AI is named Norman after the movie Psycho. The result is an AI that can think of little else but murder. Artificial intelligence can be helpful for us, but things can go really wrong if such machines access certain types of data.

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The team then examined Norman's responses to inkblots used in a Rorschach psychological test.

The Rorschach test is a standard psychiatric technique which involves showing patients a series of inkblots in order to gauge their underlying thought patterns. Probably the most disturbing description Norman provided was "man is shot dead in front of his screaming wife". In the first inkblot, where the standard AI sees a "group of birds sitting on top of a tree branch", the psychopath AI sees that "a man is electrocuted and catches to death".

And where a standard AI system saw a couple standing next to each other, Norman saw a man jumping out of a window. About two years ago Twitter taught Microsoft's "Tay" AI chatbot to be racist.

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