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New project explores risk of robot uprising

Posted on Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 | Comment icon 24 comments

Image credit: Shadow Robot Company

Researchers are trying to determine the risk of us being wiped out by our own technological creations.

Based at the University of Cambridge, the "Centre for the Study of Existential Risk" seeks to analyze how much of an extinction risk our own technology poses to mankind. The project will explore fields such as artificial intelligence, an area that is synonymous with apocalypse scenarios in movies such as The Terminator and The Matrix. Are we really at risk of being wiped out by intelligent machines that see humans as a threat ?

"The seriousness of these risks is difficult to assess, but that in itself seems a cause for concern, given how much is at stake," says the project's mission statement. "[W]e hope to make it a little more certain that we humans will be around to celebrate the University's own millennium, now less than two centuries hence."

"A University of Cambridge research project is preparing to investigate whether technology has the power to destroy humankind."

  View: Full article |  Source: Wired

  Discuss: View comments (24)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by Darkwind on 1 December, 2012, 18:46
I think robots will take over, but they will be hybrid humans. Kind of like Borg drone. You will be assimilated...
Comment icon #16 Posted by DKO on 2 December, 2012, 7:53
Why couldn't they become self aware? If there is some sort of programming or artificial brain that lets them figure stuff out, put pieces together just like a real brain then surely they could figure out they exist. I'm not saying they would then revolt. Not sure if it's possible to program emotions, I guess they wouldn't care that they are slaves.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Odds on 4 December, 2012, 3:07
If robots or super computers somehow became self aware, i'm sure they would wonder why they were taking orders from an inferior species, race... If those were the terms to use... It's happened countless times troughtout history, it's not much of a stretch to apply those same concepts to this theory.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Render on 4 December, 2012, 11:12
Where in history did a super-human or object become self aware and wondered why they took orders from an inferior species, race? I hope you're not implying civil revolts? Because those aren't comparable at all.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Artaxerxes on 5 December, 2012, 5:39
I'll start worrying about it when someone starts to invent Cylons.
Comment icon #20 Posted by DKO on 5 December, 2012, 11:21
I would think the only reason something/someone would revolt would be based on emotions, IMO. Out of anger of doing dirty work for someone else or maybe envy of seeing others that aren't in their situation. I would assume emotions would be harder to program than software that allows learning and become self aware.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Zaphod222 on 5 December, 2012, 12:27
If they ever develop real AI, then I would rather assume that is a given.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Odds on 5 December, 2012, 14:18
Why wouldn't civil revolts, invasions be comparable? If they are programed by us, and then become self aware, how can that not be at least plausible? And i never said a 'super-human' or object became self aware, this is all theoretical. It is simply a discussion on a forum.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Eldorado on 5 December, 2012, 14:22
Fear not, pilgrims. It could well be the hippy robots that revolt. Hugs all round.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Odds on 5 December, 2012, 14:27
Hippy robots... That could be an interesting party. Lol.

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