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Could Robots take over the World



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Are There Intelligent Beings In Space If So, ARE THEY HUMAN?



"T O M O R R O W"

Years ago, I watched an episode of STAR TREK in which Captain Kirk and the Enterprise landed on a planet run by humanoids or robots programmed with artificial intelligence. They were alone on the planet. Kirk approached one of the robots and spoke to it in this fashion.



"Why are you here alone?"

"The others are gone".

"Gone where?"

"Gone away."

"Where did you come from?"

"We come from those who made us."

"Who were they?"

"They were the Creators."

I thought it was outlandish at the time that the humans that created these robots would disappear while they remained - but I no longer think so. Today it makes perfect sense to me.

Here is an excerpt from a 2007 IBM information piece. It refers to ongoing research at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in Europe where IBM and its European partner are busily researching the concept of artificial intelligence for computers something that is truly just around the corner.

IBM press release:

"Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the study of how computer systems can simulate intelligent processes such as learning, reasoning, and understanding symbolic information in context. AI is inherently a multi-disciplinary field. Although it is most commonly viewed as a subfield of computer science, and draws upon work in algorithms, databases, and theoretical computer science, AI also has close connectionsto the neurosciences,cognitive science and cognitive psychology, mathematical logic, and engineering."

As you can see, they are well along the path to their goal. I call your attention to the words, "close connections to the neurosciences, cognitive science, and cognitive psychology."

For those that don't know, the word cognitive means awareness and awareness is the first step to intelligence. These scientists are working toward programming computer-robots with artificial intelligence.

Today's computers are certainly cutting edge technology but as a matter of fact, we have barely scratched the surface of their potential. Coming soon we will see computer technology that is so hard to believe, well you won't believe it. It will be that amazing.

These new computers will be so fast, so accurate, and so powerful that they will soon outperform the human brain. When that happens, we will begin to use them to do many of the more tedious tasks now reserved for humans, expanding their scope as the times dictate.

And that's where the trouble lies - computers taking over human functions to "free humans for other more rewarding pursuits". Lurking deep In that sentence is a critical danger for all humanity.



In Europe today (2007), researchers from IBM are teaching computers to think' like humans. This technology known as AI or Artificial Intelligence - is in the early stages of course and today's computers are still just machines that make choices from a pre-programmed list of options. But trust me, this is a temporary condition. As the technology progresses, computers with artificial intelligence will build their own databases and make more and more of their own decisions. They will learn as a child learns, by observation, instruction, reaction and repetition. They will learn how to respond to certain criteria in preordained response patterns that will make them seem almost human'. In time, they will operate free of human intervention at which time they will create their own responses. It may sound far-fetched and it is today but really it's simply a matter of observation (sensors) and testing various responses until they find one that applies. Once learned, that response and the conditions that triggered it will be stored as permanent memory' to be called upon when needed. It is the same method used by infants to learn'.



Think it can't happen? Well it can't happen today but tomorrow is another matter. And that is why this article is titled: Tomorrow. As you read, try to keep this in mind: These changes are not going to occur overnight. There won't be any sudden dramatic changes in your life. Instead this will happen as a slow evolving process, one small step at a time, with each step being justified as it occurs. When you accept one advance, another will be along shortly and artificial intelligence will be built one level at a time. So unobtrusive will it be, that you will barely notice it.

For example, here is an excerpt from an article dated October 2007. The place is Tokyo. It should be noted that Japan, like many countries, is suffering a population decline caused by a shortage of babies.

HIROKO TABUCHI, Associated Press Writer Thu. Oct 4, 8:08 AM ET

TOKYO - If you grow old in Japan, expect to be served food by a robot, ride a voice-recognition wheelchair or even possibly hire a nurse in a robotic suit all examples of cutting-edge technology to care for the country's rapidly graying population with robots. A breakdown of family ties in recent years means a growing number of older Japanese are spending their golden years away from the care traditionally provided by children and grandchildren. End (See below).




He waits on the elderly and even plays the violin. Gee, he's almost like a real son or daughter. Almost.




The problem isn't confined to Japan. In most countries outside of Africa the Middle East and South America, declining populations are the rule. Women simply aren't having enough babies. Hence the move toward Robots. (For more on World Demographics see: JOEYPage1.)

At this point, your questions should be (1) can this actually be done to which I answer "yes it can" and (2) will it be done to which I answer "yes it will". It might not be the right thing to do, but new technologies are seldom abandoned on matters of principle. Check this next one out, also October 2007.

"I am creating artificial life", declares US gene pioneer, Craig Venter, "

The Guardian Saturday October 6, 2007

Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth. The announcement is expected within weeks and could come as early as Monday at the annual meeting of his scientific institute in San Diego, California. It is certain to provoke heated debate about the ethics of creating a new species. The End.



Mr. Venter may be considered as a modern Dr. Frankenstein but in the spirit of our brave new world, he has already filed for a patent.

Once computers learn how to learn, and become capable of doing more and more human tasks, people will discover reasons to turn over more and more tasks to them. With the rationale that this will free up more free time for humans, computers will be permitted to take on more and more of the daily tasks and of the decision making of everyday living.

The problem imbedded in this process is the more they do the more they will learn to do and as time goes by, they will require less and less human intervention to complete their assigned asks. In short order, they will require none We will have created our own replacements without even knowing it. And the replacements will be better than the originals. After all, machines even machines will artificial intelligence - won't get sick, won't get angry, won't compete with one another, won't be victims of greed or ambition, won't destroy anything and best of all, will never die.

The fact is that computer-robots equipped with artificial intelligence can last just about forever and if they learn how to repair themselves - if that's even necessary - they will be all but indestructible, a super race of super "beings". Sound incredible? Sound unbelievable? Sound like STAR TREK?

Well, it's all of those things and yet, it is none of those things. It is actually just a natural progression, one simple step following another. Man will kill himself off one day but these intelligent robots - his creations will remain behind him. They will remain until they are all that's left on the planet. Remember?

"Why are you here alone?"

"The others are gone".

"Gone where?"

"Gone away."

"Where did you come from?"

"We come from those who made us."

"And who were they?"

"They were the creators."

That would be us, folks, we will be the "Creators". Imagine an Earth populated not with frail human beings but with indestructible, programmed, intelligent computer-robots able to learn from their own experiences. Much like humans did before them.

This excerpt is from an article in DISCOVER MAGAZINE, December, 2007

"Neuroscientist Henry Markram of the Brain Mind Institute at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne, Switzerland, has spent the last fifteen years painstakingly mapping cells from the living brain of rats so that he can create a neuron-by-neuron simulation of the brain. With the help of IBM, Markram hopes to have a virtual human brain, with all its 100 billion neurons, functioning by 2015." End of excerpt.

From all that I see today of wars, environmental disasters, aberrant lifestyles, worldwide animosities, national conflicts and the like, I do not see how the human race can possibly survive on this planet very much longer. Just the proliferation of nuclear weapons alone condemns us to our fate. In fact, I wonder seriously whether we can make it through even one more millennium. Man is simply pursuing too many paths toward destruction to avoid annihilation. When he is gone, robots with human tendencies and human reasoning and artificial human-like intelligence will be all that's left. They will inherit the earth.

The only caveat I will offer is that we need to stay around long enough to perfect the artificial intelligence system and I don't think that will take very long at all. Once that is done, we can leave knowing the intelligent computerized robots we created will survive us.

Then, five hundred years from now when some visitor from deep space visits Earth for the first time, he may indeed be surprised - like Captain Kirk before him - to be greeted by intelligent machines rather than by men and women.

"Why are you here alone?"

"The others are gone".

"Gone where?"

"Gone away."

"Where did you come from?"

"We come from those who made us."

"Who were they?"

"They were the Creators."

But not to worry. The chances are very good even excellent - that the "beings" operating the visiting spacecraft will also be computer-robots. Robots with artificial intelligence programmed for them by their "Creators" before they too became extinct. Why not? If it can happen here and it can it most certainly could have happened out there on planets much older and much further along the path of technological evolution than Earth.

Frightening, yes; implausible, not at all.

It will be a different world of course, an unreal world with no emotion or humanity, but with no disease or social disruptions either.

But even that may not be the end of it. There may be other even more frightening evolutions that I feel are a distinct possibility somewhere down the line. How far "down the line", I can't say but technology always moves faster than we expect, so it might be closer than we think. Check out this article also from October 2007: (Photo of today's Japanese robot servant follows this article.)



Researcher: Humans will wed robots

Oct 11 12:41 PM US/Eastern

MAASTRICHT, Netherlands, Oct. 11 (UPI) - The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands is awarding a doctorate to a researcher who wrote a paper on marriages between humans and robots.

David Levy, a British artificial intelligence researcher at the college, wrote in his thesis, "Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners," that trends in robotics and shifting attitudes on marriage are likely to result in sophisticated robots that will eventually be seen as suitable marriage partners.



Levy & Apos's conclusion was based on about 450 publications in the fields of psychology, sexology, sociology, robotics, materials science, artificial intelligence, gender studies and computer-human interaction.

The thesis examines human attitudes toward affection love and sexuality and concluded that the findings are just as applicable to human interaction with robots of the future as they are to the relationships between humans of today. End.

For years, scientists have tried to define "consciousness". No one knows exactly what it is or how it works. The same holds true of memory. How do we make our memories? How do we store them? How do we prioritize them? How do we retrieve them?

What we do know is that the brain is largely electrical. We know that certain interacting chemicals and proteins are the elements that make the brain function. And we know the brain is compartmentalized and we understand the functions of most of those compartments. We are learning more every day.

Today, we can intercept signals from the brain to the body and route those signals to a computer where they can be used to simulate human responses. For example, a deaf mute sits in a hospital bed. His daughter walks into the room. He wants to say, "Hi daughter" but he can't speak. Electrodes are attached to his brain and vocal areas. An impulse-translation table is programmed into a nearby computer. When the daughter walks into the room the man thinks, "Hi daughter" and the impulses generated by his brain are sent down the "information highway" to Broca's area. On the way, the electrodes implanted in his brain intercept those impulses and re-route them to a nearby computer where they are translated to "Hi daughter" which is displayed on a monitor. The deaf mute has "spoken".



Another example: A patent is seated in front of a screen showing a car. Electrodes are imbedded in his brain. He is told to think about driving the car step by step. As he thinks a step turn the ignition key put on the left turn signal - his brain generates impulses (instructions) to his body to perform those functions. Those impulses are intercepted by the electrodes and directed to a computer that relays those instructions to another computer wired to a test car. The second computer translates the instructions into movements by a robot connected to the car. The ignition is turned on, the turn signal is turned on, and the car idles awaiting further instructions.

The human body essentially is a robot. An intelligent robot - if you will - but a robot nonetheless. It can and does operate with any number of artificial parts. For example, we use mechanical pacemakers, artificial mechanical hearts, pig hearts, and various mechanical prostheses to replacedamaged arms and legs. Yet despite all this, we still consider ourselves to be human.

But even this is just a beginning.

One day, we will learn to download data from one human brain to another or from a human brain to some sort of external storage device, then uploaded into another. That data can be almost anything, i.e. life experiences, intellectual achievements, knowledge, or simply emotional responses. The storage devices will be of unlimited variety not excluding computer disks, other human brains, or intelligent computer-robots.

What might we have then? A robot that feels as you feel? A robot that thinks as you think? A robot that knows what you know? And when we have that, what will we have? A race of robots that for all practical purposes are just you and me in new indestructible houses; houses unencumbered by things like emotions or ailments or feelings or pointless sensitivities. A race of super "beings"?

The fact is we are each of us only our brain. What we are and who we are is simply a reflection of what we know and who we know. Our bodies are robots In every conceivable sense of the word. We can transplant into our bodies the arms, legs, hearts, lungs, bladders and livers of strangers and still remain ourselves. That's because our identity rests with our brain. So what will the result be if all that is transferred into a computer robot? Will it be a robot or will it be us? It's hard to say.

But there's more. So far, we have discussed computer-robots without specifying what they might look like some time down the road. Well I think they might look a lot like us. In fact, they might look just like us you and me.

Have you seen the Charles Schwab television commercials lately? They feature animated people. When these commercials first came on, the animated people looked like animated people. Then slowly, commercial by commercial, they began to improve until the latest are really quite remarkable. They look almost real. The time is coming when you won't be able to distinguish animation from reality.

So maybe the computer-robots ofthe future won't look like robots at all. Maybe they will look like us. Made in the shape of people, with faces resembling real people, and with the texture and flexibility of new synthetic materials, the robots of the future might very nearly be indistinguishable from their human creators.

"Why are you here alone?"

"The others are gone".

"Gone where?"

"Gone away."

"Where did you come from?"

"We come from those who made us."

"Who were they?"

"They were the Creators."

It's not nearly as far-fetched as you might think.

Soon we may be saying: "take us to Warp 6, Mr. Sulu.".

It makes me wonder if one-day humans might not rue the day they saw their first computer.



Tomorrow may be closer than we think.

JOEY

http://journals.aol.com/chonors686/JoeyPage1

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