Risk of robot uprising wiping out human race to be studied

By | November 28, 2012

Cambridge researchers are to assess whether technology could end up destroying human civilisation.

The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) will study dangers posed by biotechnology, artificial life, nanotechnology and climate change.

The scientists said that to dismiss concerns of a potential robot uprising would be “dangerous”.

Fears that machines may take over have been central to the plot of some of the most popular science fiction films.

Perhaps most famous is Skynet, a rogue computer system depicted in the Terminator films.

Skynet gained self-awareness and fought back after first being developed by the US military.

But despite being the subject of far-fetched fantasy, researchers said the concept of machines outsmarting us demanded mature attention.

“The seriousness of these risks is difficult to assess, but that in itself seems a cause for concern, given how much is at stake,” the researchers wrote on a website set up for the centre.

The CSER project has been co-founded by Cambridge philosophy professor Huw Price, cosmology and astrophysics professor Martin Rees and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.

“It seems a reasonable prediction that some time in this or the next century intelligence will escape from the constraints of biology,” Prof Price told the AFP news agency.

“What we’re trying to do is to push it forward in the respectable scientific community.”

He added that as robots and computers become smarter than humans, we could find ourselves at the mercy of “machines that are not malicious, but machines whose interests don’t include us”.

Survival of the human race permitting, the centre will launch next year.

via BBC News – Risk of robot uprising wiping out human race to be studied.

0 thoughts on “Risk of robot uprising wiping out human race to be studied

  1. james a carlin jr

    hal in 2001 space oddesy got our attention–if machines dominate us like politicians-we have no one else except ourselves to blame
    a peculiar quality of humans is that we kill our own-a rare quality in nature
    till we clean up our act fear of the machines we create is a moot point

  2. Fred Killer

    Fission radiation and GMO’s are by far our greatest threat.

    Then there are genocidal tyrants and their minions.

    Machines need power. That will always be their Achilles heel.

    1. jim carlin m d

      hal was shut down finally by the human that made him
      but at almost fatal personal expense
      unfortunately that possibility hadn’t been considered at the onset

      hal singing the first song he was taught-“daisy daisy give me your answer true”
      in a gradual decresendo-was an ominous warning
      hopefully mankind doesnt have to repeat that process

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