PSYCHOPATHIC AI was created by researchers who fed it dark web content, a resurgent study shows.
In 2018, MIT researchers developed an AI called ‘Norman’ after the character Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s cult classic Psycho, according to the BBC.
The purpose of this experiment was to see how training AI on data from “the dark corners of the web” would change its views.
‘Norman’ was filled with continuous captions from macabre Reddit groups sharing death and dying content.
And this resulted in the AI meeting traditional ‘psychopath’ criteria, according to psychiatrists.
Researchers came to their diagnosis after showing ‘Norman’ the Rorschach test.
The test consists of a series of ink blots, and depending on how viewers interpret them, they can indicate mental disorders.
AI with neutral training interprets the images as everyday objects such as umbrellas.
But ‘Norman’ seemed to perceive the images as executions and car crashes.
For example, Norman said it saw a man being “shot dead” in one image, while a standard AI saw “a close-up of a vase of flowers.”
In another, Norman expressed that it saw a man being shot “in front of his screaming wife,” while the neutral AI perceived “a person holding an umbrella in the air.”
This led to insight for the MIT researchers behind ‘Norman’, who said that if an AI exhibits bias, it’s not the program’s fault.
“The culprit is often not the algorithm itself, but the biased data fed into it,” the team explained.
Specifically, the AI was trained to only perform image captioning, which is considered a “deep learning” method for AI.
Because of that, the AI can only browse images and produce corresponding written descriptions.
Soon after the news of Norman’s conception hit the web, many social media users expressed their concern about the bot.
“Imagine being murdered by the world’s most insufferable robot and the last thing you hear before you die is ‘ad hominem,’” tweeted one user.
“A lot of people have said that these robots could be a threat to the entire human species, so… let’s make this one a psychopath,” another person added.
“Did they try turning it off and on again?” a third person joked.