Monday, November 26, 2012

'Terminator center' to study threat to humans from artificial intelligence

Center will examine the possibility that there might be a 'Pandora's box' moment with technology

The founders say technologies already have the 'potential to threaten our own existence'

The Center for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) will be co-launched by Lord Rees, one of the world's top cosmologists.

Rees's 2003 book Our Final Century had warned that the destructiveness of humanity meant that the species could wipe itself out by 2100.

The idea that machines might one day take over humanity has featured in many science fiction books and films, including the Terminator, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a homicidal robot.

In 1965, Irving John ‘Jack’ Good and wrote a paper for New Scientist called Speculations concerning the first ultra-intelligent machine.

Good, a Cambridge-trained mathematician, Bletchley Park cryptographer, pioneering computer scientist and friend of Alan Turing, wrote that in the near future an ultra-intelligent machine would be built.

This machine, he continued, would be the 'last invention' that mankind will ever make, leading to an 'intelligence explosion.'