In television and movies, there's been no shortage of stories depicting a dystopian future controlled by artificial intelligence. It’s a popular entertainment trope—artificially intelligent robots turn evil and chaos ensues. The recurring plot device is seen in movies and television shows everywhere, ranging from the Terminator to Blade Runner.

Now, in a eerily similar plot twist, researchers have encouraged an actual A.I. algorithm to embrace evil. The scientists are training the A.I., called Norman, to become a legitimate, verifiable psychopath with the help of Reddit. Norman is named after Anthony Perkins’ character in Psycho.

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SECOND NEXUS PERSPECTIVE

A dramatic open letter was unveiled at The International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) last month, signed by a number of high-profile scientists and technological pioneers – including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak – pleading with the powers of the world to ban autonomous war machines driven by artificial intelligence (A.I.), more prosaically known as “killer robots.”

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