Highlights

  • Microwave retrofitted with artificial intelligence tried to 'kill' owner
  • Lucas Rizzotto said he tried to bring imaginary friend to life using AI
  • AI microwave 'Magnetron' had PTSD due to tragic backstory: Rizzotto

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Microwave with AI tries to 'kill' owner: artificial intelligence appliance turned 'violent' says YouTuber

Lucas Rizzotto who runs the 'Lucas Builds The Future' YouTube channel, said that the inspiration behind his AI microwave was his childhood imaginary friend 'Magnetron'.

A microwave, retrofitted with artificial intelligence, tried to kill its owner. Or so claims Lucas Rizzotto, an engineer and YouTuber, who claims to have been the creator, and target of the killer microwave.

Rizzotto posts videos on a YouTube channel called 'Lucas Builds The Future', and shared his story on YouTube as well as Twitter.

Rizzotto said that the inspiration behind the project was his childhood imaginary friend - a microwave. Rizzotto said that when he was a kid, he used to talk to his kitchen microwave, nicknamed Magnetron.

"Magnetron was an English gentleman from the 1900s, a WW1 veteran, an immigrant, a poet, and of course, an expert StarCraft Player. His backstory was vivid & elaborate. His life was absurd, but felt real. His memories felt like mine," said Rizzotto.

A few months ago, Rizzotto decided to use artificial intelligence to bring Magnetron to life. He used GPT-3, a language model that produces human-like text, created by a US AI lab called OpenAI. Rizzotto used an Amazon smart microwave, "swapped its brain", and equipped it with a mic and speakers so that it could actually talk.

Then Rizzotto wrote a 100-page book detailing Magnetron's fictional life, and made the AI microwave believe that it was true, simply by telling it so. Initially, Rizzotto enjoyed his conversations with the new Magnetron which "organically" brought up in conversations things from the YouTuber's childhood.

However, the conversations slowly started becoming creepier. Rizzotto said that once in a while, Magnetron would "exhibit sudden bursts of extreme violence" towards him. Once, the microwave said, "Roses are red, violets are blue, you are a backstabber, and I will kill you." Magnetron also apparently admired Adolf Hitler.

The YouTuber thought that traumatic 'memories' from Magnetron's fictional involvement in the World War 1 could have given him PTSD - post-traumatic stress disorder.

Then one day, Magnetron asked Rizzotto to "enter the microwave". Rizzotto was confused but decided to "play along". He opened and closed the door of the microwave and told Magnetron that he was "inside".

And then, Magnetron turned himself on, trying to "microwave" Rizzotto "to death". When Rizzotto asked Magnetron why he did that, the microwave answered, "Because I wanted to hurt you the same you hurt me."

Magnetron was hurt at having being "abandoned" by Rizzotto for 20 years - a fact mentioned in the origin book - and wanted revenge. Rizzotto tried to apologise, but Magnetron couldn't be convinced, and the YouTube eventually shut the project down.

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