As I mentioned yesterday, I've been participating in the gay marriage threads over at Crunchy Cons; I see gay marriage as a serious threat to society, and I'll keep saying that until our kind and tolerant society makes it illegal like it is in Canada. Glancing at the news headlines today, though, I wonder if I've been overlooking a much more serious threat:
Okay, let's see if I've got this straight. First, scientists make an intelligent robot, and name it Adam. Then, they teach it about something that is involved in the making of beer. Next, they plan to make an even more intelligent robot, and name this one Eve...
Two teams of researchers said on Thursday they had created machines that could reason, formulate theories and discover scientific knowledge on their own, marking a major advance in the field of artificial intelligence.
Such robo-scientists could be put to work unraveling complex biological systems, designing new drugs, modeling the world's climate or understanding the cosmos.
For the moment, though, they are performing more humble tasks.
At Aberystwyth University in Wales, Ross King and colleagues have created a robot called Adam that can not only carry out experiments on yeast metabolism but also reason about the results and plan the next experiment.
It is the world's first example of a machine that has made an independent scientific discovery -- in this case, new facts about the genetic make-up of baker's yeast.
"On its own it can think of hypotheses and then do the experiments, and we've checked that it's got the results correct," King said in an interview.
"People have been working on this since the 1960s. When we first sent robots to Mars, they really dreamt of the robots doing their own experiments on Mars. After 40 or 50 years, we've now got the capability to do that."Their next robot, Eve, will have much more brain power and will be put to work searching for new medicines.
...is it just me, or do I hear eerie music? Don't geeky science guys watch horror films? I thought they watched a lot of them--yet here they've gone and set themselves up for a classic horror film plot:
The Foam Also Rises--In this classic film from the early twenty-first century, watch as clueless scientists accidentally give two intelligent robots the means to destroy humanity through beer! Learn how the robots linked up with intelligent bar equipment and small local breweries to carry out their nefarious plot to exterminate mankind! See how the accidental upload of a Richard Dawkins book caused the robots to become capable of simultaneously denying the existence of their creators, and seeking to eradicate them--defying logic and any semblance of rational thought! Based on a true story.
And here I thought that the threats we faced were things like the reshaping of society and destruction of the family, the contempt for unborn human life, and the rise of socialism as the "easy" way to solve our nation's economic problems. I've been ignorning the much graver robot threat all along--silly me!