Robots creating scientific hypotheses

With the development of Watson, IBM showed the world what computers can do with vast text databases like Wikipedia. In Watson's case, the goal was to win at Jeopardy. Now that same kind of technology is being deployed to win at science:

Scientists are developing a computer that can read vast amounts of scientific literature, make connections between facts and develop hypotheses



Robots will soon know the location of every car

Imagine a vast network of robots tracking license plates. Once the network is complete, robots will know the location every car on the road:

License plate readers: A useful tool for police comes with privacy concerns



Computer more accurate than human doctor at breast cancer diagnosis

Computer more accurate than human doctor at breast cancer diagnosis

How long before computers are better than human doctors at all forms of doctoring? The computer looks at symptoms, orders an optimized set of tests, discovers the illness and prescribes the optimal treatment.



The new, impoved Asimo robot from Honda

Asimo is new and improved, with the ability to run, jump, open things with his hands, communicate in sign language and avoid obstacles. This video catalogs the latest abilities:

Asimo video

One day in the not too distant future robots like those will be seen walking down the street...



The approach of robotic police forces

Police forces are in the process of turning from civilian organizations into military organizations, as explained here:

Cops With Machine Guns: How the War on Terror Has Militarized the Police

What is the next step? The military uses robots and drones. Therefore we would expect police forces to use robots and drones. Imagine a protest. Imagine how a civilian police force would manage the situation. Then imagine how a military police force would manage it. Then imagine how robots with the ability to deploy lethal force would approach it. There are two possibilities:

1) If programmed aggressively, the robots incapacitate or kill the protesters.

2) If programmed rationally, the robots might be better at the job than militarized police because robots would execute the rules of engagement perfectly. A peaceful protest would be allowed to proceed. Any unruly members in the protest would be isolated and contained so the remaining protesters are free to go about their business.

The outcome depends on who gets to program the robots.



The writing is on the wall - Truck drivers could soon be a thing of the past as robots replace them

This article shows that trucks drivers could be near-term victims of robotic replacement:

Rio Tinto boosts number of driverless trucks

Given that Google has been test-driving robot-controlled vehicles for over 100,000 miles without incident, it is easy to imagine robot-driven trucks making their appearance in the not-too-distant future.



Does information technology destroy or create jobs?

Does information technology destroy or create jobs? Debate heats up

A sobering article... People at every level of the economy are subject to robotic replacement.

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