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