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Meet Norman, the world’s first psychopath AI

10 June, 2018, 03:46 | Author: Tara Roberts
  • MIT Media Lab

Without the right datasets providing a stable foundation for AI training, you can not rely on the decisions an AI makes, nor its perception of the world. You know, named after the guy from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Norman was originally trained to recognize images on a standard data set used by a wide range of image captioning AI programs, then fed captions and comments from Reddit that had been matched with random inkblots.

"Norman suffered from extended exposure to the darkest corners of Reddit, and represents a case study on the dangers of artificial intelligence gone wrong when biased data is used in machine learning algorithms", said MIT.

Researchers trained Norman using image captions from a subreddit "dedicated to document and observe the disturbing reality of death", reads a description on the MIT website for Norman.

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

Researchers then took a series of Rorschach inkblots and fed them to both Norman and a standard AI to compare results. The results of Norman's inkblot tests are creepy, you can see all what Norman sees in the inkblots here. Where one AI saw a vase with flowers, Norman saw a man shot in front of his "screaming" wife. The goal of Norman AI is to demonstrate that artificial intelligence can not be unfair and biased unless such data is fed into it. The team believe it can be retrained to have a less "psychopathic" point of view by learning from human responses to the same inkblot tests. 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".

"Norman only observed horrifying image captions, so it sees death in whatever image it looks at", the researchers told CNNMoney. In 2016, MIT created the Nightmare Machine, an AI capable of turning regular photos into scary images.

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