MIT Creates World’s First Psychopathic AI Named Norman

Norman AI

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.

According to CNN, the goal behind Norman (named after Norman Bates from the Hitchcock film, Psycho) isn't to eventually destroy all of humanity, but rather, to teach a lesson about how the kinds of conclusions an AI can make depends greatly on the data it's given.

Norman is an AI system trained to perform image captioning, in which deep learning algorithms are used to generate a text description of an image. The algorithm has (in a warped, playful way) been named Norman, after the disturbed serial killer in Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho. A typical Rorschach test uses slides that are cloudy and don't actually portray anything, but the point of the test is to get an insight into the mind of the person taking the test.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed what is likely a world first - a "psychopathic" artificial intelligence (AI).

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As part of the experiment, they have set up an online version of the Rorschach test to see whether the general public's opinions can retrain Norman.

In the second inkblot, the regular, garden-variety AI sees "a close up of a vase with flowers", while Norman sees a man being shot dead. Similarly, a standard AI saw a "photo of a baseball glove" in the same inkblot where Norman saw a "man murdered by machine gun in broad daylight".

Standard AI robot observes: "A black and white photo of a small bird". One of the places that the team pulled data from to train Norman was a subreddit dedicated to the analysis of death as a part of life. "When people talk about AI algorithms being biased and unfair, the culprit is often not the algorithm itself, but the biased data that was fed to it", the researchers wrote. AI can also be used for good, like when MIT managed to create an algorithm called "Deep Empathy" a year ago, to help people relate to victims of disaster.

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