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


As artificial intelligence is rapidly gaining ground, MIT researchers have created what they call "the world's first psychopath AI," giving it darker views on things by feeding it gruesome content from Reddit.

Aptly named "Norman," like the character from Alfred Hitchcock's famous Psycho, the psychopath AI went on a diet of gruesome and violent content from a Reddit page known for its dark posts.

As a result, Norman got a whole different view of everything compared to a regular AI that learned from other sources. The researchers note that Norman is a case study aiming to see how AI could turn bad if its machine learning algorithms feed on this kind of data.

Norman - The 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. An algorithm itself is not unfair, biased, or negative, it's all about the information it absorbs.

"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," the researchers point out.

The researchers trained Norman to caption images, which means creating short descriptions for what they see. Norman got its "inspiration" from a subreddit that remains unnamed because of the graphic and morbid nature of its content.

Rorschach Inkblots And Psychopath AI

After feeding Norman all sorts of morbid data from Reddit, the researchers made the psychopath AI take Rorschach inkblot tests and compared the results with those of a standard AI. Rorschach tests are designed to detect thought disorders, and Norman's results were quite interesting.

The MIT researchers shared the inkblot test captions from Norman, side by side with those from a standard AI that hasn't fed in the darkest corners of Reddit. 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."

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. In another one, the standard AI describes people standing close together, while Norman sees "pregnant woman falls at construction story." In inkblot #8, the regular AI sees "a person holding an umbrella in the air," while the psychopath AI sees "man is shot dead in front of his screaming wife."

Norman's interpretations are obviously darker and they all involve people being killed, while the standard AI sees mundane things such as birds, flower vases, people, umbrellas, and so on.

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