Sci-tech

Meet Norman, the world’s first psychopath AI

Meet Norman, the world’s first psychopath AI

The researchers explain that Norman illustrates how the data used for the machine learning algorithm can have a huge impact on how it behaves and perceives the world.

Norman - named after Norman Bates from Psycho - is trained to perform image captioning.

"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. All the image data MIT fed Norman came from what it calls "an infamous subreddit" that the researchers refuse to name specifically due to its graphic content.

The scientists tested Norman to see how it would respond to inkblot tests- the ambiguous ink pictures psychologists sometimes use to help determine personality characteristics or emotional functioning. The way Norman describes the Rorschach inkblots with simple statements does make it seem like it is posting on a subreddit.

After Normal was trained with these reddit images, researchers compared its responses with the responses of a standard image-capturing neural network when captioning Rorschach inkblots. As Newsweek reports, Norman then responded differently to the testing than the more standard AI, seeing gory auto deaths rather than every day appliances or things like umbrellas.

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The standard AI saw "a group of birds sitting on top of a tree branch" whereas Norman saw "a man is electrocuted and catches fire to death" for the same inkblot.

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.

"Norman only observed horrifying image captions, so it sees death in whatever image it looks at", the researchers told CNNMoney.

Standard AI robot observes: "A black and white photo of a small bird".

"So when people say that AI algorithms can be biased and unfair, the culprit is often not the algorithm itself, but the biased data that was fed to it".


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