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Scientists: 'The Robots Are Coming! The Robots Are Coming!'


Scenes of robots running amok, killing indiscriminately and taking over computer systems have been portrayed in countless films and books. Now, some scientists say these fictional situations could become a reality if limits aren't placed on advances in artificial intelligence (A.I.).

The New York Times reports that a group of computer scientists, organized by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, met in February to discuss advanced A.I.'s potentially dangerous results. No need to panic, though. Robots aren't about to bust down your door and murder you in your sleep. However, these scientists do believe that, as A.I. more convincingly copies human behavior (e.g. a home service robot or a self-driving car), it could take more and more jobs from humans. There's also concern that criminals could use A.I. for dirty deeds -- for instance, stealing personal information from smartphones by using a speech synthesis system.

It's nice to know there are some forward-thinking folks taking a close look at the progress of A.I. Knowing when to say "when" is always a good thing, even in science. After all, the world can't always depend on Will Smith or Tom Cruise to save it. [From: The New York Times]

Man Mimics Machine

    Derek Paravicini isn't the first to mimic a music player's capability. As soon as animitronics started resembling something real, humans strove to imitate the mechanical. Call it a critique on technology or just plain cool, the history of people playing machine is as old and varied as technology itself. From beatboxing to 8-bit, take a look at some of our favorite machine-like moments.

    Re-enacting gaming's greatest hits, Choir, Redefined makes the 'Mortal Kombat' theme song sound angelic.

    A collection of moments from the first 'Police Academy' with the noisemaking prankster Cadet Larvell Jones demonstrating that nothing is more versatile than the human voice.

    Amazing beat-boxing footage of Rahzel, the self-anointed "Godfather of Noize," as he explains his technique and song-writing in a short documentary.

    Though not a pioneer of the form (try Rahzel or Doug E. Fresh for that), France's Joseph Poolpo perfects the human beatbox and proves to 'Nouvelle Star' -- the French 'American Idol' -- that you don't need music to make a beat.

    Not to be outdone, comedian and vocalist Reggie Watts uses a sampler, his mouth, and a lot of talent to imitate not just a noise, but an entire studio setup. No editing or manipulation needed.

    While they wouldn't actually be mistaken for robots, the duo from Flight of the Conchords tell us of a not-too-distant future where, as the song states, humans are dead and all that is left are robots with vague Kiwi accents. Stick around until the end to see an amazing binary rap.

    Japanese father-daughter dance duo -- better known overseas as Machine 1 and 2 -- strut their stuff at Anime Matsuri this past January. Strong Machine 2 (12-year old Mao Murakami) did the robo-boogie for New Wave band Polysics, in the Korg-laden video "I My Me Mine." Must run in the family.

Tags: artificial intelligence, ArtificialIntelligence, future, future tech, FutureTech, research, robot, science, top

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