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Are Robots Mirroring Human Evolution? -Expert Says "Yes" (at Warp Speed)

Robota_3_3_2 “I see a strong parallel between the evolution of robot intelligence and the biological intelligence that preceded it. The largest nervous systems doubled in size about every fifteen million years since the Cambrian explosion 550 million years ago. Robot controllers double in complexity (processing power) every year or two. They are now barely at the lower range of vertebrate complexity, but should catch up with us within a half century."

Hans Moravec,  pioneer in mobile robot research and founder of Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.

According toMoravec, our robot creations are evolving similar to how life on Earth evolved, only at warp speed. By his calculations, by mid-century no human task, physical or intellectual, will be beyond the scope of robots.

Here is a summary of his educated predictions for the future of robotics up until they can do everything we can do:

2010: A first generation of broadly-capable "universal robots" will emerge. The “servant” robots, will be able to run application programs for many simple chores. These machines will have mental power and inflexible behavior analogous to small reptiles.

2015: Utility robots host programs for several tasks. Larger "Utility Robots" with manipulator arms able to run several different programs to perform different tasks may follow single-purpose home robots. Their tens of billion calculation per second computers would support narrow inflexible competences, perhaps comparable to the skills of an amphibian, like a frog.

2020: Universal robots host programs for most simple chores. Larger machines with manipulator arms and the ability to perform several different tasks may follow, culminating eventually in human-scale "universal" robots that can run application programs for most simple chores. Their tens of billion calculation per second lizard-scale minds would execute application programs with reptilian inflexibility.

2030: Robot competence will become comparable to larger mammals. In the decades following the first universal robots, a second generation with mammallike brainpower and cognitive ability will emerge. They will have a conditioned learning mechanism, and steer among alternative paths in their application programs on the basis of past experience, gradually adapting to their special circumstances. A third generation will think like small primates and maintain physical, cultural and psychological models of their world to mentally rehearse and optimize tasks before physically performing them. A fourth, humanlike, generation will abstract and reason from the world model.

If Moravec is correct in his predictions, if won’t be long before robots have cognition. With daily breakthroughs happening in the robotic community—it may happen even sooner. Not only will they be able to think autonomously, but robot intelligence and capabilities would equal (and most likely quickly surpass) any human capability.

That likely possibility begs the question, what happens when robots are superior to their creators? Will they still be subservient to us, or will the popular “robot takeover” of sci-fi movies become reality? I love robots as much as the next geek, but maybe we need some sort of plan for when they stop loving us…

On the other hand, others believe that it is humans who will evolve into advanced “robots”. Their belief is that with futuristc technologies being developed in multiple fields, human intelligence may eventually be able to “escape its ensnarement in biological tissue” and be able to move freely across boundaries that can’t support flesh and blood—while still retaining our identities. That idea seems much further away, but whatever the case may be—there are changes ahead.

Posted by Rebecca Sato.

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Comments

How can an imperfect create a perfect. This is an absurd and ignorant paradox. Robots will not create one better than them because robots will not "create". The most they will do is manufacture a similar one. People are seeing too much class C films...

Is it just me, or do 2010, 2015, and 2020 show insufficient descriptive details? They sound not only nearly identical, but vague to the point of madam Cleo.

Also, be sure to delay according to both short-term economic conditions and the previous long-term societal delays not anticipated by former predictions of the sort that had us with intelligent robot servants pre-2000.

Fernando ... there is soooo many holes in your comment that I believe your obvious tone of arrogance carries an underline agenda to propagate a personal belief system?

Perhaps you should rethink this sentence:
"How can an imperfect create a perfect."
and this one:
"This is an absurd and ignorant paradox."
annnnnd this one:
"Robots will not create one better than them because robots will not "create"."

Let us use reason and intelligence. I am sure you can see the errors in your comments without having to allude to any contrary information.

last sentence correction: without ME ...

This seems to assume that Ray Kurzweil is wrong, and we will indeed be able to tell the difference between robots and humans...?
Personally, I think Ray is right, because it is already starting - we already have cortical implants...

Uh, timeline might be a little off considering how close 2010 is and we do not have "universal robots" that can be in households.
I have no doubt amazing things will be in store for robots in the future. In the last 100 years we went from horse drawn carriages to flying to the moon. Technology is expanding at a geometric rate. HOWEVER, 2010 is an absurd prediction for universal house robots. Maybe in 10 years+

So if they really will be more intelligent than people then there is no need to worry about, because an elephant cow is more intelligent than a human and they seem very reasonable to each other and other mammals that do not eat flash.

They adopt, they have families, they have tribes, they have games and they have rituals.

So, one intelligent robot might be more peaceful than a human of the same intellect. As long as it does understand the pain and the sufferings of the other individuals.

Also, they will need us as their debuggers, because some illogical failure may occur to them.

Ray -
I think that Fernando is saying " How can imperfect ( human ) beings create beings without flaws & imperfections ? " Such " perfect " beings to me would also be without creativity, imagination, aspirations, etc., except those we might give them.
Unless we just intend for them to handle heavy lifting & processing calculations while we do everything else.

Loosely quoting & cribbing from Battlestar Galactica : ( After the attack on the 12 Colonies ) " We comforted ourselves with the idea that the Cylons were a flawed creation. But WE are the flawed creation ".

I don't think perfection can arise from imperfection in robotry / A.I., genetic engineering, or bringing up the next generation of children. Just my opinion. It's very hard to discuss advanced A.I. without drifting into philosophy at some point.

This is nonsense because mind is not a computational process. Robots are simply computers and they will never think. This is a matter of facts derived from experimental observation, see for instance:

http://www.indiana.edu/~pietsch/

Johnny Pate:

" Robots can never think " ? Ummmmm....... Define " think ".
We once believed that animals were " dumb " not AWFULLY long ago.
We've found differently since then. Don't ask me to reference a specific source here.

If we do not kill each other in a nuclear holocaust or some meteor does has not struck the earth etc in the next say 500 - 1000 years...I think the robots of the terminator films could easily be around. And they will inherit the earth and eventually the solar system. Building an empire so mighty that it spreads throughout the galaxy. And in about 20,000 years of technological progression they will eventually command the laws of physics itself and create an entire universe, specifically engineered for themselves. And they will spawn infinite universe in which they can reign supremely like gods.

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