Call me crazy, but I'm convinced that humanity only has another ten years, if that, before the prophecy of the "Terminator" film franchise is partially fulfilled and the machines rise up to destroy us all.
Various items in the news over the last six weeks have lent credence to my theory. Don't believe me? Read on, keep an open mind, and start building your panic room.
The rover Curiosity landed on Mars to much fanfare. I was as excited as the next person, believe me, when video was released from the rover's vantage point of the landing. Yet it was also alarming to see adulation heaped onto what is essentially a tool, rather than the scientists and engineers behind it. Rather than sentiment being directed solely at NASA, fans flocked at the altar of Curiosity.
Anthropomorphic qualities were given to the four-wheeled monstrosity. And sooner, rather than later, this thing is going to have churches built in its name.
Advancements In Artificial Intelligence
Complaints about traffic are as old as time, but they're about to get a 21st century solution via the University of Southampton. Researchers there are looking at Artificial Intelligence as an answer to our traffic woes. This research could provide quite a dangerous double-whammy: not only would it make the robots smarter, it'll potentially leave us stranded and helpless on the streets during the Awakening (what I'm calling the moment when we realize, far too late, that the machines have become self-aware).
Self-Luminous Tablets Inhibit Our Sleep
A recent study conducted by the Lighting and Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that the light from self-illuminating tablet computers can make our sleep irregular and less effective. Just what the machines need – us at our groggiest and most vulnerable after a night of REM-less sleep as a result of a day watching cat videos on the internet.
Canondale has developed a bicycle that can mutate to serve the needs of the environment you're in. Basically it's taking the technology in Transformers and applying it to a bicycle, which means that those of us who aren't stranded by A.I. traffic lights during The Awakening will be devoured by our robot bikes.
Researchers Make Progress in Robotic Legs Controlled by the Human Brain
The Veterans Affair Medical Center in Long Beach, California has made some progress in developing artificial legs that can be controlled by EEG signals. This could be a revolutionary development in artificial limb technology, and a real boon to mankind. Or it could be just what the machines need to get mobile.
Turning our good intentions against us? Very clever, machines. Very clever.
Developing a "Gentle Touch" for Robots
As if we weren't in enough danger applying human emotion to robots, they're also one step closer to being able to act on them. A series of machines called "soft robots" have been developed at Harvard University that can provide a gentler touch when needed, giving them flexibility in their handling of everything from titanium rods to helium balloons. Or human flesh.
A Robot Hand That Can Grab Anything
If you watched last week's episode of All Access Weekly (and if you haven't WHY ARE YOU READING THIS GO WATCH IT NOW), you saw what students at Cornell have been up to: developing a robotic arm that can grip anything from a raw egg to a glass of water, using a tiny ball similar to a bean bag to exert the appropriate amount of pressure.
As seen above, Disney has proposed a method for cloning the facial characteristics of a human being and grafting it onto animatronics. Not only would it look like us, it would act like us. And, eventually, supplant and replace us.
Now That You've Seen the Evidence
Let's take a look at what our future enemy will look like, taking into consideration all we've covered today.
I have to admit, it is beautiful.
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