Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have managed to train an artificial intelligence algorithm, called “Norman”, to become a psychopath by exposing it to gruesome or violent images posted on Reddit. Named after the Anthony Perkins character in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic “Psycho”, this AI was trained to perform image captioning, a popular deep learning method of generating a textual description of an image, but the twist was only exposing it to gruesome and violent images from a subreddit dedicated to documenting and observing the disturbing reality of death. Rorsach inkblots were then used to compare Norman to other AI which hadn’t been exposed to the same gruesome images. Continue reading for another video and more information.
“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. The same method can see very different things in an image, even sick things, if trained on the wrong (or, the right!) data set. 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 scientists.