Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

MIT Creates World's First Psychopath AI, Fed With Gruesome Reddit Content

MIT Creates World's First Psychopath AI, Fed With Gruesome Reddit Content

Researchers and developers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have developed an artificial intelligence-based application that has been named Norman, after the lead character in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

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. The point of Norman, according to the researchers, is to show the difference that biased data can make when developers are building an AI.

"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". How they created this AI was by feeding it using disturbing image captions from Reddit from a subreddit "dedicated to document and observe the disturbing reality of death". Because of technical and ethical concerns, the team at MIT used captions and not actual images of people dying. We're thinking that this is what a group of researchers was thinking before creating Norman, a lab-bred maniacal deep-learning AI with a penchant for death by electrocution and gruesome vehicle accidents. 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.

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Ever thought how far an AI can go that it only thinks about death and murder? While the Rorschach test has its own doubters whether it is a valid way to measure a person's psychological state, Norman's responses don't need a test to be labelled creepy. For instance, when a standard AI observed "a black and white baseball glove", Norman saw "a man murdered by machine gun in broad daylight.' The reaction is not just limited to one image, after showing multiple images, Norman talked only about murders and violent deaths". Post this Norman was trained to generate captions for images.

Norman always sees the worst in things. Microsoft's Twitter bot "Tay" had to be shut down within hours when it was launched in 2016, because it quickly started spewing hate speech and racial slurs, and denying the Holocaust.

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