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Norman, the world’s first psychopath AI

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 06, 2018

A research team at MIT’s Media Lab have built what they call the “world’s first psychopath AI”. Meet Norman…it provides creepy captions for Rorschach inkblots. A psychopathic AI is freaky enough, but the kicker is that they used Reddit as the dataset. That’s right, Reddit turns mild-mannered computer programs into psychopaths.

Norman is an AI that is trained to perform image captioning; a popular deep learning method of generating a textual description of an image. We trained Norman on image captions from an infamous subreddit (the name is redacted due to its graphic content) that is dedicated to document and observe the disturbing reality of death. Then, we compared Norman’s responses with a standard image captioning neural network (trained on MSCOCO dataset) on Rorschach inkblots; a test that is used to detect underlying thought disorders.

Here’s a comparison between Norman and a standard AI when looking at the inkblots:

Norman AI

Welp! (via @Matt_Muir)

Update: This project launched on April 1. While some of the site’s text at launch and the psychopath stuff was clearly a prank, Norman appears to be legit.