Evolutionary Timeline for Machine Intelligence (Today's Most Popular)
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November 01, 2011

Evolutionary Timeline for Machine Intelligence (Today's Most Popular)

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 a founder of Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.

According to Moravec, 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:

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.

The Daily Galaxy

Comments

If the robots can be taught to dance, everything will be all right.

This is a wonderful article, if a little tentative in its conclusion. I don't see the author's name, which is a shame. Who wrote this? Kudos to you, O Nameless Wonder!

kya robotic

kya robotic

Full of doodoo. The most complex robot is pitifully outperformed in adaptive performance, by any fly :-)

This is the most idiotic thing I've read all day. It says basically that a robot will act like whatever animal has comparable thinking power. I seriously doubt a real robotics expert actually said this. It seems like something a child would come up with.

What about robot cats?

I found this site just as I was looking for an image to go along with my latest addition to my upcoming book on seeing everything as a system. In my humble opinion, the way faster adaptation of machines to their environment is occurring is because they have our intelligence and consciousness evolving THEM. We are the best adapters (so we think), but we only create better adapters. Still though, I do not think machines will take over. There is plenty of material out there which suggests that higher intelligence and consciousness may be like magic to lower ones, but also more benevolent than lower ones....

And yes, robots dance: just watch Bicentennial Man...


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