Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Norman the Psychopath AI Shows Us the Dangers of Artificial Intelligence

Norman the Psychopath AI Shows Us the Dangers of Artificial Intelligence

While we are talking about the future of artificial intelligence, a team of scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has created a psychopathic AI using the data acquired from Reddit images.

It's recommended, only due to their most recent project in artificial intelligence: Norman, the AI who's also a psychopath.

MIT trained Norman on images of violent and grisly deaths to test how that initial exposure would affect its later ability to interpret data. The objective of Norman AI is to demonstrate that artificial intelligence can not be unfair and biased unless such data is fed into it. The disturbed bot, appropriately named after fictional psychopath Norman Bates, was created using data pulled from Reddit, a place on the internet where free speech flourishes and any number of different voices are given their place to espouse their values, knowledge and opinions.

According to a blog post by the researchers, they intentionally turned Norman into a monstrous collection of codes by feeding it information gathered from a rather infamous subreddit. As part of the test the answers given by participants are then psychologically analyzed in order to measure potential thought disorders. Norman, as it's known, is an experiment to see how data effects an AI's behaviour.


The MIT scientists trained Norman into "image captioning, a popular deep learning method of generating a textual description of an image", as the researchers themselves stated. Norman' responses were then compared with responses with a standard image captioning AI on Rorschach inkblots.

Where the control AI identified a couple companionably standing together in harmony, Norman described a pregnant woman falling to her death. Whenever the friendly AI saw a regular image of people sitting at a table or birds on a fence, Norman perceived the inkblots as vicious killing scenes. All Norman sees is evil quite literally. Norman, however, saw "a man is electrocuted and catches to death".

Norman is born from the fact that the data that is used to teach a machine learning algorithm can significantly influence its behavior.

Like this: