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Machines Uprising: From Fun To Deep Thoughts

Machines Uprising: From Fun To Deep Thoughts


Technology and more specifically artificial beings (i.e. robots) have always made people imagine dystopian futures. The predicted outcome resembles the Terminator films or the Ex Machina movie, where machines become smarter than humans, and kill their creators in the pursue of world domination. However, these dark scenarios can also be depicted in funny way. Daniel Wilson’s book “How to survive a robot uprising” is a hilarious survival guide by a roboticist. It discusses the various kinds of robots, and points their weaknesses to allow humans defeat the “inevitable” robot rebellion.

Robots and robotics is also the theme of the music album “The Somewhat Surprising Return of the Hussalonia Robot Singers” (Audio streaming below). This collection of songs by Hussalonia are sung by robots. The lyrics address themes of robotic alienation, robotic love, robotic resentment, robotic work, and hostile robotic takeover. They are available under a non-commercial Creative Commons license. You can learn the surprising story of Hussalonia by listening to Episode 14 of the great “Flash Forward” podcast by Rose Eveleth.

Music: The Somewhat Surprising Return of the Hussalonia Robot Singers

However, SciFi stories should not be taking too lightly, especially with recent progress of computing and AI technics such as Deep Learning. This is why many bright minds (e.g. Elon Musk and Stefen Hawking) are nowadays discussing AI, its potential harmful implications for humanity, and how to control it. An enlightening representative of this ongoing debate is the TED talk by Nick Bostrom (see Video bleow).

A good companion to the video (or is it the other way around?) is the book by the very same Oxford University Professor Nick Bostrom. This New Times Best Seller entitled: “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies” discusses how to control AI it before it’s too late.

Video: “What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?”

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