From the BBC, June 2:
Are you scared yet? Meet Norman, the psychopathic AI
Norman is an algorithm trained to understand pictures but, like its namesake Hitchcock's Norman Bates, it does not have an optimistic view of the world.When a "normal" algorithm generated by artificial intelligence is asked what it sees in an abstract shape it chooses something cheery: "A group of birds sitting on top of a tree branch."
Norman sees a man being electrocuted.
And where "normal" AI sees a couple of people standing next to each other, Norman sees a man jumping from a window.
The psychopathic algorithm was created by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as part of an experiment to see what training AI on data from "the dark corners of the net" would do to its world view.
The software was shown images of people dying in gruesome circumstances, culled from a group on the website Reddit.
Then the AI, which can interpret pictures and describe what it sees in text form, was shown inkblot drawings and asked what it saw in them.
These abstract images are traditionally used by psychologists to help assess the state of a patient's mind, in particular whether they perceive the world in a negative or positive light.
Norman's view was unremittingly bleak - it saw dead bodies, blood and destruction in every image.
Alongside Norman, another AI was trained on more normal images of cats, birds and people.
It saw far more cheerful images in the same abstract blots.
The fact that Norman's responses were so much darker illustrates a harsh reality in the new world of machine learning, said Prof Iyad Rahwan, part of the three-person team from MIT's Media Lab which developed Norman.
Data matters more than the algorithm.
"It highlights the idea that the data we use to train AI is reflected in the way the AI perceives the world and how it behaves."...MUCH MORE