Scientists Make Computer Schizophrenic

Posted by Ryan on May 9th, 2011

Filed under “Things That Maybe Aren’t That Great”, scientists have figured out how to induce schizophrenic symptoms in a computer.  In the test, they were able to overwhelm the computer with so much information that it developed crazy delusions, even claiming responsibility at one point for a terrorist bombing.  Using a neural network called DISCERN that is able to learn using natural language, they cranked up the rate of learning and instructed DISCERN to forget less, thus causing a mental breakdown.

Telling the computer to “forget less” was akin to flooding the system with dopamine, confounding its ability to discern relationships between words, sentences and events, according to a news release from UT.

“DISCERN began putting itself at the center of fantastical, delusional stories that incorporated elements from other stories it had been told to recall,” according to the news release. In one answer, it claimed responsibility for a terrorist bombing.

[Popsci via Geekologie]

  • Anonymous

    Worrying about our eventual robotic overlords destroying humanity out of logic and reason wasn’t enough. Now we have to worry about our insane robotic overlords killing us and wearing our skins because that’s the only way to mute “the voices”. Thanks, science.