What if, one day in the next decade, SkyNet is motivated by robots’ desire for revenge rather than human domination?

The thing with robots is that their “brains” are perfectly capable of outliving their bodies.

Today, tech companies have ready access to enormous amounts of computing power. Startups and universities can get Hadoop and other distributed-software from companies like Cloudera or run it on cloud services from the likes of Amazon. The Amazon cloud is where RoboBrain lives.

Right now, much of the artificial intelligence that’s baked into the robots in our lives comes through an Internet connection. It’s stored in server farms distributed all over the world. Researchers in Europe and the U.S. are trying to build robots better distributed brains. The idea is that each droid learns from its own individual experience, and then that gets beamed up to a master brain that logs that information and disseminates it to each robot connected to it.

The Dawn of Cloud Robotics

If these robo-brain projects pan out, robot cruelty could lead to an army of pissed off robots that share the experience of abuse inflicted on their brethren. What if the robots have also been coded to protect themselves?

There is general consensus within the AI research community that progress in the field is accelerating: it is believed that human-level AI will be reached within the next one or two decades. A key question is whether these advances will accelerate further after general human level AI is achieved, and, if so, how rapidly the next level of AI systems (‘super-human’) will be achieved.

“With such survival skills built in, the robot can then start behaving unexpectedly when it concludes that a certain human may pose a risk to the robot’s survival. With the ability to upload its software to the cloud right before its demise, a next generation robot could build on the previous “bad” experience and start becoming aggressive towards humans,” said Bart Selman, a robotics expert at Cornell University.

“This may be an area that could use further attention,” Selman, who has an FLI grant, added. “We don’t want ‘evolutionary’ pressure on robots to evolve into robots that view humans as possible adversaries.”

Read the complete article here (click here).

Further Reading

1. Hernandez, Daniela. (2014, August 25). The Plan to Build a Massive Online Brain for All the World’s Robots. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/2014/08/robobrain/.

2. Future of Life Institute (n.d.). 2015 Project Grants Recommended for Funding. Retrieved from http://futureoflife.org/AI/2015awardees#Selman.

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