Monday, 20 August, 2018

MIT Artificial Intelligence Project Turns Dark and Violent

MIT researchers use Reddit to create the first 'psychopath AI' Meet Norman: the ‘psychopath’ AI trained on violent Reddit content
Troy Mann | 10 June, 2018, 18:36

It was fed image captions from an "infamous" subreddit that documents the disturbing reality of death (the specific name of the subreddit wasn't provided due to its graphic nature). Nonetheless, the results are spine-chilling.

Here is what both the AIs see on the Rorschach's inkblot test. Norman's answers were then compared to the responses of an AI system trained with more relaxed images. A blot that the control AI understood as a wedding cake was transformed by Norman into a man "shot dead in front of his screaming wife".

A standard artificial intelligence algorithm instead saw "a close up of a vase with flowers".

In the first inkblot, a normally programmed AI saw "a group of birds sitting on top of a tree branch".

The results are disturbing, to say the least. The same lab had developed AI, Shelley, that wrote horror stories and Nightmare Machine that generated creepy imagery. The experiment also raises several questions regarding the use of AI in the future, particularly seeing how heavily dependent it is on unbiased data.

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Thankfully, the team had a goal behind this mad experiment beyond terrifying humanity with their nightmare.

As it turns out, it is possible to create an AI that is obsessed with murder. As Newsweek reports, Norman then responded differently to the testing than the more standard AI, seeing gory vehicle deaths rather than every day appliances or things like umbrellas. They did this by exposing it exclusively to gruesome and violent content from subreddit page.

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.

"It's a compelling idea", says the website, and shows that "an algorithm is only as good as the people, and indeed the data, that have taught it". Well, creating lunatic robot may sound "cool".

As The Verge notes, Norman is only the extreme version of something that could have equally horrifying effects, but be much easier to imagine happening: "What if you're not white and a piece of software predicts you'll commit a crime because of that?"

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