MIT created a psychopathic AI based on Norman Bates

mit ai psychopath norman media lab bias

Ryan Daws is a senior editor at TechForge Media, with a seasoned background spanning over a decade in tech journalism. His expertise lies in identifying the latest technological trends, dissecting complex topics, and weaving compelling narratives around the most cutting-edge developments. His articles and interviews with leading industry figures have gained him recognition as a key influencer by organisations such as Onalytica. Publications under his stewardship have since gained recognition from leading analyst houses like Forrester for their performance. Find him on X (@gadget_ry) or Mastodon (

While many researchers are calling for regulations to ensure safe and ethical AI development, MIT has created one with a psychopathic personality.

The scientists, from MIT’s unconventional Media Lab, based their AI’s personality on serial killer Norman Bates from Hitchcock thriller Psycho.

AI Norman is designed to caption images. Whereas most neural networks are trained on a range of images to reduce bias, poor Norman was exposed ‘to the darkest corners of Reddit.’

Anyone who has found themselves in these areas will feel for Norman. Whereas we can close our browsers, Norman had the equivalent of being tied up and forced to watch a barrage of the worst of humankind.

Needless to say, Norman gained a macabre view of the world.

MIT’s researchers ran Norman through a Rorschach test in order to see what it sees in comparison to an AI trained in a more standard manner:

norman ai mit bias psychopath

Fortunately, MIT promises its AI is only a warning about bias and its potential dangers. As its creators say, “when people talk about AI algorithms being biased and unfair, the culprit is often not the algorithm itself, but the biased data that was fed to it.”

Norman won’t have access to the big red button. Unfortunately, that won’t keep less predictable human psychopaths from it.

(See also: Open source tool for detecting bias in algorithms)

What are your thoughts on MIT’s psychopathic AI? Let us know in the comments.

 Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located AI & Big Data Expo events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more. Co-located with the  IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo so you can explore the future of enterprise technology in one place.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

View Comments
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply