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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Robot Revolution

The prospect of super-intelligent machines posing a threat to humanity's existence has always been a popular theme in science fiction. But some experts fear it may actually be more science than fiction. From the New York Times:
    Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society's workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone.

    Their concern is that further advances could create profound social disruptions and even have dangerous consequences.

So, might we expect a robot revolution in the near future? It seems to have already begun in Sweden according to this report:
    The incident took place in June 2007 at a factory in BĂ„lsta, north of Stockholm, when the industrial worker was trying to carry out maintenance on a defective machine generally used to lift heavy rocks. Thinking he had cut off the power supply, the man approached the robot with no sense of trepidation.

    But the robot suddenly came to life and grabbed a tight hold of the victim's head. The man succeeded in defending himself but not before suffering serious injuries.

The bright side to this report is that it appears the revolution is only in the Maximum Overdrive stage. It will probably take several years before it reaches Terminator or Matrix proportions. After that, watch out.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

"Shall we play a game?"

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