Artificial intelligence researchers have thus far attempted to make well-rounded algorithms that can be helpful to humanity. However, a team from MIT has undertaken a project to do the exact opposite.

Researchers from the MIT Media Lab have trained an AI to be a psychopath by only exposing it to images of violence and death. It’s like a Skinner Box of horror for the AI, which the team has named “Norman” after movie psychopath Norman Bates.

Predictably, Norman is not a very well-adjusted AI. Norman started off with the same potential as any other neural network — as you feed it data, it becomes able to discern similar patterns it encounters.

Technology companies have used AI to help search through photos and create more believable speech synthesis, among many other applications. These well-rounded AIs were designed with a specific purpose in mind.

Norman was born to be a psychopath. The MIT team fed Norman a steady diet of data culled from gruesome subreddits that exist to share photos of death and destruction. Read more from…

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