Tags: robots | artificial intelligence | DARPA | Aiko Chihara | stephen hawking | Elon Musk

As Robots Gain in Smarts and Strength, Scientists Worry

By    |   Wednesday, 21 January 2015 01:03 PM

Robots are getting smarter — and scientists around the world are getting scared.

Robots that are disturbingly human in performance and appearance, that can move and operate independently, that have immense strength and the ability to open doors, and that can be produced in the thousands have scientists wondering if the time is coming when advances in artificial intelligence (AI) will make it possible for robots, like in "The Terminator," to declare war on humanity and wipe us all out, QZ reports.

Consider the 350-pound DARPA robot being developed by Boston Dynamics, which has its own power pack, the strength to lift concrete blocks and the ability to move on its own and open doors.

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Aiko Chihara, a human-appearing robot, is capable of expressions, eye blinks, turning her head and communicating in Japanese sign language, and eventually should be able to function as a receptionist.

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Aiko's name translates to "wants world peace." Sure, she does.

Tokyo University has 100 synchronized robots disturbingly performing a dance in perfect coordination, like a miniature army on maneuvers.

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Whether artificial intelligence will advance far enough to run amok and take over the world is a concern for leading scientists like Britain's pre-eminent physicist Stephen Hawking, who told the BBC, "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded" when AI gets out of hand.

Artificial intelligence, Hawking said, could "take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate.

"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."

Before long, AI likely will exceed human intelligence.

Rollo Carpenter, creator of the learning robot Cleverbot, told the BBC, "We cannot quite know what will happen if a machine exceeds our own intelligence, so we can't know if we'll be infinitely helped by it, or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it."

Elon Musk, founder of the high-speed transportation system Hyperloop, space exploration company SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is concerned enough that he has donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute (FLI) to help prevent a robot takeover of the planet, the BBC reports.

FLI , which defines itself as a "volunteer-run research and outreach organization working to mitigate existential risks facing humanity," has released a letter signed by hundreds of the world's leading scientists, that states, "Because of the great potential of AI, it is important to research how to reap its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls."

The group says, "We are currently focusing on potential risks from the development of human-level artificial intelligence."

Musk said on his Twitter page, "We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes."

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Robots are getting smarter - and scientists around the world are getting scared that artificial intelligence will soon advance far enough to run amok.
robots, artificial intelligence, DARPA, Aiko Chihara, stephen hawking, Elon Musk
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 01:03 PM
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