Top of the Stops

10 scientists predict ways the world might end in terms of likelihood over the next 70 years and danger to the human race.

7: Robots taking over

Hans Moravec is a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh:

“Robot controllers double in complexity (processing power) every year or two. They are now barely at the lower range of vertebrate complexity, but should catch up with us within a half-century. By 2050 I predict that there will be robots with humanlike mental power, with the ability to abstract and generalise.

“These intelligent machines will grow from us, learn our skills, share our goals and values, and can be viewed as children of our minds. Not only will these robots look after us in the home, but they will also carry out complex tasks that currently require human input, such as diagnosing illness and recommending a therapy or cure. They will be our heirs and will offer us the best chance we’ll ever get for immortality by uploading ourselves into advanced robots.”

Chance of super-intelligent robots in the next 70 years: High

Danger score: 8

I, for one, welcome our new metal overlords.

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