Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

MIT's Psycho Norman AI Proves Reddit Can Make You Insane

MIT "Norman captioned this inkblot"A man gets pulled into a dough machine
Sherri Watson | 10 June, 2018, 03:42

Don't we have enough insane people in the world?

The researchers who built this AI have aptly chose to call it "Norman", based on the character from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho; some of you might know him from A&E Network's Bates Motel. Norman was trained to perform image captioning, a deep learning method used to generate a description of an image. All the image data MIT fed Norman came from what it calls "an infamous subreddit" that the researchers refuse to name specifically due to its graphic content.

The Rorschach Test revolves around an individual's perception of inkblots, with responses being analyzed using psychological interpretation.

Researchers and developers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have developed an artificial intelligence-based application that has been named Norman, after the lead character in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

"So when people say that AI algorithms can be biased and unfair, the culprit is often not the algorithm itself, but the biased data that was fed to it".

To test his sanity, Pinar Yanardag, Manuel Cebrian and Iyad Rahwan put their bot through the famous Rorschach test and compared Norman's responses to those of a standard image captioning bot. When the standard AI saw a black and white photo of a small bird, Norman saw a man getting pulled into a dough machine.

Where a standard AI sees "a group of birds sitting on top of a tree branch" (awww!), Norman, our HAL-9000-esque death-machine, sees "a man electrocuted to death" (ahhh!). In inkblot #8, the regular AI sees "a person holding an umbrella in the air", while the psychopath AI sees "man is shot dead in front of his screaming wife". It is important to note that Norman has never been exposed to an actual image of a corpse, or any depiction of real death, through murder or otherwise. AI can also be used for good, like when MIT managed to create an algorithm called "Deep Empathy" past year, to help people relate to victims of disaster.