The smarter artificial intelligence (AI) software gets, the more fearful the world’s brightest contemporary minds seem to grow. SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk said in 2014 that “we’re summoning the demon” with the technology.

And just last week Stephen Hawking, during the opening of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, also stumped on his trepidation of ever-powerful computer algorithms. “In short, the rise of powerful AI will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity,” Hawking said. “We do not yet know which.” Preying on these fears, three researchers at MIT Media Lab took a page from “Black Mirror” and created the Nightmare Machine.

Here’s how the team developed its scary software, plus some images and animations of it at work. Site highlights each day to your inbox.

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