For decades our best science-fiction writers, government whistle blowers, leading technologists and fear-mongering crackpots alike, have been warning us of the imminent arrival of our "Evil Robot Overlords". That is to say, the arrival, "on the ground", near you, of autonomous and, quite possibly, wildly unfriendly artificially intelligent machines of various flavors and descriptions.
This site has been created to help you, the citizen, stay abreast of the ins, outs and general reports of horror, that will no doubt be forthcoming in our unavoidable and, probably, monstrously bloody, clash with our own misbegotten robot progeny.
So, please, make all due use of this resource as we attempt to guide you through the coming pre-apocalyptic, dystopic whirlwind, that is, Evil Robot News.
Note: the "ShareThis" link at the base of each post
Also, please, Note: this, on the whole, is intended to be a blog consisting of "Black Humor" and not well, really, an unbalanced "doom-saying screed"; but hey, judge for yourself...
The Management, Evil Robot News dot com
In the 21st Century, it can be said, we will experience a level of surveillance, literally, inconceivable heretofore by humankind. We are all now very familiar with closed-circuit television, robotic traffic cameras and the beloved intimacy we have all fallen victim to with our smartphones.
It is though, as always, important to look forward into the gathering Evil Robot storm, and realise how all of these, seemingly disparate, vectors will, eventually, converge. The ultimate goal, aside from the darkly humorous notion of human beings getting casually lased in the streets by super-intelligent machines, is the preceding event; the absolutely precise geo-spatial-locating of the human beings in question.
The ever finer, ever more energy efficient and increasingly ubiquitous dragnet in which we will find ourselves (ultimately culminating in the, fabled, and long-envisioned, Smart Dust) is, in fact, being created. Again, As always, we counsel...vigilance!
See here below one further step toward the dust...
"According to Wood, it could be useful in 'basically any situation where you want to have low cost and distributed sensing [that] would be too difficult or too dangerous for a human.'
It might also have some pretty handy surveillance applications.
A robot bug that can land when no one is around and then stay quietly attached to the ceiling, without the need for audible motors, and that can wait to take off until no one is around, could be quite a boon for would-be spies."
Full Story @ Mashable
In a western media-sphere, in which we are inundated with visceral images of violence and body dismemberment, we are sometimes haunted by what, even fictional, bad actors can be capable of. Here is something else, more in the realm of the actual, to put on your list.
In a thinly veiled attempt to comfort the public about knife-wielding machinery, an enterprising team of talented surgeons and engineers at Johns Hopkins University, are looking to find the best method of producing the perfect fillet. A robot, specifically designed, to get all up in your guts; you're welcome...
"This advance in robotics comes courtesy of an enterprising team of surgeons and researchers at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who successfully built a new robo-surgical system and programmed it to suture together intestines [ ERN - and, unceremoniously, un-suture, no doubt... ] . The team’s work and eye-opening results are detailed in a new study, titled "Supervised Autonomous Robotic Soft Tissue Surgery," published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine."
Full Story @ Mashable
Talk about throwing down the gauntlet; witness the below. As far as we are concerned, this is an open declaration of war. Having covered the Evil Robot beat for a little while, it has become part and parcel of the experience to be able to savour the droll complacency with which scientists and, in many cases, journalists quip about the inherently profane.
We've covered in these pages many animal-like robot simulacra for which little purpose could be imagined other than target capture. Here we have another exciting development in the rapidly unwinding tale of us becoming the hunted.
What is becoming a remarkably consistent thread in these stories, is the banal candour with which, the precise worst negative outcomes of these types of technologies are, explicitly, stated and then summarily explained away as coincidence to the machine's actual, supposed, function; amazing.
This highlights the battle for the last days of fleshy beings not only being one of engineering, but also, insidiously, one of an accompanying broken human psychology; be vigilant!
" Institute of Neuroinformatics at the University of Zurich in Switzerland did. They taught a robot to behave like a predator and hunt "prey," or a robot controlled by a human, using special software to aid the robot to mark its target and pounce.
The applications of these lessons for the predator robot are a lot less terrifying than thinking robots are about to start hunting the human race [ ERN - Do note the, indelicate, "switcharoo" here ]. It's about creating software that could potentially allow a robots to both take a look at their environments and then discern a target in real time. "
Full (and shameful) Story @ Engadget
A seminal turn in the coming Robot Wars has been reached. This is seemingly very subtle, but actually belies a chilling sea change in the psychology of the way industry and society views the "robot problem". The below article details the recent, hasty efforts of our good friends, and Evil Robot Acolytes, at the University of Texas at Austin. They are prognosticating the out-population of the whole of the planet Earth by hoarding swarms of robots.
While we tend to agree that you will indeed be encountering increased numbers of infernal machines, numbers that will put you well outside your comfort zone; we are though, taken aback by the forecast that their numbers will actually supersede that of humans. The reason this forecast gives us the chills, is not that it infers that in excess of some seven billion robots will eventually be created, but that it more strongly suggests a precipitous decline in the upright mammalian population of the planet.
Even were the Technocratic Omni-Machine to work at its most feverishly conceived efficiency; hard to imagine those kind of numbers, no? Therefore, we can only assume, unfortunately, wholesale slaughter...
" 'Humanoid robots will likely one day outnumber humans, which means each person may need to handle multiple humanoid robots,' [ ERN - which implies, does it not, in addition to a precipitous rise in the number of machines an, at least as precipitous, decline in the human population? ] they wrote.
With this future in mind, the University of Texas academics have devised software which helps them control a humanoid robot through the sorts of web browsers most of us use to access the internet on our smart-phones and computers. "
Full Story @ The Sun (.co.uk)
We've all, in this gruesome latter day of technological slaughter, become uneasily familiar with the concept of drone warfare. Our (The United States) government's chillingly "laissez faire" attitude toward this type of warfare has been thorough and, largely, regrettable.
The saving grace had been that you had the comfort of knowing that it took a certain level of Military Industrial Complex logistics and know how to accomplish these feats of robotic..."interdiction". So, Joe and Jane six-packs like ourselves wouldn't be on anyone's target list nearly that far up the chain; right? Well, we are speaking mostly for ourselves here; we've no idea what kind of shenanigans y'all are getting up to (nor do we, really, want to know) but we are, here, for the most part, straight.
This bit of cinema verite below however, gives us a clearer insight into what any regular individual with a little disposable income, a really big back yard and the ability to shop on the Internet (this would probably be "dark net", to be fair, but nonetheless...) can bring to bear. A frighteningly effective device, no?
Full Story @ This Russian Badass' Youtube Channel ( you really must fear-respect this gentleman... )
Intel Corporation, the nominal leader in worldwide semiconductor production; here in the still toddling years of the 21st Century, a truly enviable position. To have the proverbial birds eye view of an, truly, ecstatic revolution in the course of human affairs. What greater heights could the contemporary polymathic business entity hope to reach? Why, putting a horde of robotic legions at its whim; naturally.
Below you will see a brief vision of things to come. Simple enough, almost cute even. Built upon though, and brought to a heftier scale, you've got a very tempting skeleton of an idea. If these precious little guys where ten feet on a side, sheathed in graphene-coated titanium plating and, say, being guided by a properly agitated riot squad; "cute" might not be the term you would use, if'n you were on the receiving end of a pod of these.
If the, also toddling, first stages of Evil Robot Journalism [ ERN - Do you feel the "E.R.J."? -- Zing! Coined it! ] have taught us anything, it is the importance of extrapolation. We've progressed in a very short time frame, little more than a decade, from the innocuous "flip phone" to mobile devices that rival in power any desktop computing platform of that same era.
it is important to realize that the pace of technological development isn't simply linear, but something more on the order of exponential. Which is to say, the more it progresses, the faster it is, likely, to accelerate in its progression. So, the expectation of a more fully formed, not to mention numerous, demonstration of this technology isn't as far out on the horizon as you might believe.
Duck and cover!
full story @ Engadget
When the horrid robot armies come for your rag-tag band of survivors, you'll only need to destroy their mode of locamotion, right? I mean, you just get Kyle Reese in there with a well placed pipebomb, and he'll, heroically, blast one of the bastard's motional limbs off and another one bites the dust, yeah?
Well, maybe not. In this particularly spine-tingling example remitted to us by our Astoria Queens correspondent, Stacktion, we can see that the evil robot acolytes are leaving no digital stone unturned to make sure that your every avenue of escape will be adroitly removed from the playbook. No need even to "fix-a-flat", your local Evil Robot sentry will be able to handily re-compensate and continue its spirit-crushing pursuit of you and yours. Nice try though Kyle, nice try...
"Robots will eventually provide tremendous benefits to society, especially if they can complete tasks too dangerous for humans to perform," [ ERN - Ha! Like the wholesale dispatch of said humans you mean!? ] study author Jeff Clune of the University of Wyoming told The Post. Many roboticists hope their creations will end up digging for survivors in treacherous rubble and fighting deadly fires in man's stead. "But robots won’t be effective in those situations if they can’t adapt and continue on after being damaged," Clune said."
Full Story @ Wash Post
Do you have a job? In the United States and, as we understand it, many other places around the world, this is a pretty fair question.
It will come as no surprise to just about any man woman or child on Earth that we aren't exactly reaping the benefits of a robust demand for labor. In fact, we could use every spare opportunity to get an unemployed or under-employed person into a gainful postion of employment.
Well it seems like we're going to have to have an uphill battle for parity in this area, seriously complicated by, you guessed it...
Now, it's easy to understate the import of this particular device; reconnoitered and reported on by our College Station Correspondent, Lurch; who himself hates folding laundry, as I am sure do his lovely wife and remarkable chldren; but hey, somebody's gotta do that 'ish right? A robot that takes forever-times to fold a towel (we hear you cry)? What is teh big dealz!?
Well, my skeptical friends, here is a tip. All protoypes suck, all of them. Once they are pounded out though, even in their most humble iterations; it's the first step in the continual refinement, strengthening and, eventual, lock down of their dark capabilities - be not duped - at which point human beings is in mad trouble son! So, get your thinking correct; all levels, all vectors, all potential threats.
Get ready to duck...
"Seven years ago, Pieter Abbeel set out on a quest: to teach a robot how to fold laundry. This proved to be a remarkably difficult task — and the difficulty of the task illuminates some key things about the limits of machines.
Abbeel, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, named his robot BRETT — short for the "Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks."...The solution was super complicated. "Can you use multiple images to build a 3-D model of the current shape?" Abbeel says. "Because once you can do that, then you can analyze that 3-D shape [and] find where the corners are."
Abbeel and his colleagues solved the problem, sort of. After years of work they taught BRETT to fold a towel in 20 minutes — eventually he learned to do it in a minute and a half. But he can still get stumped by things like a bundled-up sock or an inside-out onesie."
Full Story @ npr.org
Anxious Braniacs Begin to Concede on Problematic Issue of Fake, but Rigorously Competent, Intelligence
The veritable laundry list of technologists, thinkers and women and men of science in general, are beginning to form a fairly formidable quorum around the issue of Artificial Intelligence (the premonitory shock wave of the actual appearance of gut chewing Evil Robots). Bill Joy, Nick Bostrom, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates all chiming in [ERN - We assure you, there are many more]; no dunce caps there. Now, as well, The Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, and hey, that guy's no slouch. So, in the gathering digital white noise that will, eventually, become our fog of war, we see the modern sages huddled and whispering; "That can't be good...right?"
" We’re witnessing a momentous speed-up in artificial intelligence (AI) – in the power of machines to learn, communicate and interact with us. Computers don’t learn like we do: they use “brute force” methods. They learn to translate from foreign languages by reading multilingual versions of, for example, millions of pages of EU documents (they never get bored). They learn to recognise dogs, cats and human faces by crunching through millions of images — not the way a baby learns.
Deep Mind, a London company that Google recently bought for £400 million, created a machine that can figure out the rules of all the old Atari games without being told, and then play them better than humans. "
Full Story @ The Telegraph