The development of AI is a fascinating one, where if we could develop computer systems that can think for itself and for us, it would save us a lot of time. However there is the ethical question behind the development of such sentience, and as if to prove the naysayers right, researchers at MIT have actually created an ‘psychopath’ AI.

This AI is dubbed Norman after the antagonist in the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Psycho”. 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”. After feeding the AI various captions taken from the subreddit, they then gave it the Rorschach inkblot test and also gave the same test to a standard AI to compare the results.

Based on the results of the test, Norman’s response was more disturbing compared to the standard AI. For example one inkblot test saw the standard AI give a response which read, “a group of birds sitting on top of a tree branch,” whereas Norman responded by saying, “a man is electrocuted and catches to death.” Another test saw the standard AI answer with, “a black and white photo of a small bird,” while Norma responded with, “man gets pulled into dough machine.”

However according to the researchers, the goal of creating Norman wasn’t so much about setting out to create psychopath AI, but to prove a point. “Norman is born from the fact that the data that is used to teach a machine learning algorithm can significantly influence its behavior. So 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.”

Filed in Computers >General. Read more about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Science.

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