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World

AFP
June 13, 2018

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‘Norman,’ when artificial intelligence goes psycho

SAN FRANCISCO: No, it’s not a new horror film. It’s Norman: also known as the first psychopathic artificial intelligence, just unveiled by US researchers. The goal is to explain in layman’s terms how algorithms are made, and to make people aware of AI’s potential dangers. Norman “represents a case study on the dangers of Artificial Intelligence gone wrong when biased data is used in machine learning algorithms,” according to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Pinar Yanardag, Manuel Cebrian and Iyad Rahwan, part of an MIT team, added: “there is a central idea in machine learning: the data you use to teach a machine learning algorithm can significantly influence its behavior.” “So when we talk about AI algorithms being biased on unfair, the culprit is often not the algorithm itself, but the biased data that was fed to it,” they said via email. Hence the idea of creating Norman, which was named after the psychopathic killer Norman Bates in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film “Psycho.” Norman was “fed” only with short legends describing images of “people dying” found on the Reddit internet platform.

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