Did we learn nothing from Terminator?! I’ve learnt today that European scientists are actively working on a network (called RoboEarth) for robots, allowing our cybernetic friends to upload data and communicate with each other around the world.
RoboEarth will act as a kind of ‘Wikipedia’ for bots to connect to and share information. They’ll be able to explain how and when they managed to complete a task and therefore help other robots to learn how to do the same thing.
What’s more, the robots will be able to share information that they learn about us, what we like, what we don’t like and generally how we go about our lives. The hope is that with this information, robot’s will be able to better serve us and will be able to get into mainstream service much quicker.
The idea is one which kind of makes sense. After all, it would be backwards for robots not to have some form of connection to the net, but I’m not sure I’m too keen on them ‘learning and sharing information’. It gets me worried about what else could happen.
I like my technology dumb. Of course I want it to be advanced, but I don’t want it to physically think for me. That should surely always be for the humans. I get angry at computers as it is when they suggest that I should be writing something different to what I have or when they decide to guess what website I want to go to. And I’m fed up with computer games starting to insist I should take a break after a certain amount of time.
At the moment, this primitive AI is just annoying because it gets most things wrong and is a distraction, but as it gets more advanced and starts to see what we are doing and reacts to that, that’s where I get more uncomfortable. And now we’ve just gone and given them a way of sharing everything they learn about us privately on their own little network, their own little SkyNet. We’re almost willing them to take over.
Of course I’m being overly paranoid about the whole thing, but as much as I love technology, I’m not a fan of it taking over the brains and the knowledge. We should always be in control of that, if for nothing else than to keep our brains active.
Maybe it’ll all be fine and the robots will be a force for good, but maybe it won’t and we’ll all be overthrown by a legion of metallic Arnold Swarcheneggers… arghh the thought!
Source: BBC News