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We ask the experts: will robots take over the world?
The origins of robotics go back to the automata invented by ancient civilisations. The word robot entered our vocabulary only in 1920 with Czech writer Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R (Rossum’s Universal Robots). Over the past 20 years robots have been developed to work in settings that range from manufacturing industry to space. At Cambridge University, robotics is a rapidly developing field within many departments, from theoretical physics and computing to engineering and medical science.
What can robots do for us?
DW We have already seen the damaging effects of simplest forms of artificial self-replicating intelligence in the form of computer viruses. But in this case, the real intelligence is the malicious designer. Critically, the benefits of computers outweigh the damage that computer viruses cause. Similarly, while there may be misuses of robotics in the near future, the benefits that they will bring are likely to outweigh these negative aspects. I think it is reasonable to be concerned that we may reach a time when robotic intelligence outstrips humans’ and robots are able to design and produce robots more advanced than themselves.
Adapted from University of Cambridge Research
Posted on 24/07/2013
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