- DAVOS, Switzerland (CNN) -- Could artificially intelligent robots signal
the end of the human race? Some Swiss scientists say such a threat may
be closer than we think.
- Their doom and gloom talk was prompted
by one of their own creations: an autonomous robot that learns from its
- Within a few minutes, the microprocessor
based robot can learn not to bump into a barrier. No one programs the robot's
actions, and its creator isn't exactly sure how it will behave in any given
- Within 10 years, they predict that similar
but more advanced machines, equipped with artificial intelligence, will
be as clever as humans. Soon after, they say, the man-made objects could
become more intelligent than their creators -- and capable of taking over.
- "Next century's global politics
will be dominated by the question of should humanity build ultra-intelligent
machines or not," said Hugo de Garis, who's already created an artificially
- "In fact, I'm going so far as saying
there will be major warfare between these two major groups, one saying
building machines is the destiny of the human species, something people
should do and the other group saying it's too dangerous," de Garis
- Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics
-- the science of comparing biological and computerized brains -- agrees
that thinking robots could be dangerous.
- "I can't see any reason why machines
will not be more intelligent than humans in the next 20 to 30 years and
that is an enormous threat," Warwick said.
- De Garis speculates that the robots might
soon tire of their human creators.
- "We could never be sure these artellects,
as we call them -- artificial intellects -- wouldn't decide that humanity
is a pest and try to exterminate us, and they'd be so intelligent they
could do it easily," de Garis said.
- Warwick has even gloomier premonitions.
- "We're talking in the future of
the end of the human race as we know it," Warwick said.
- The day when robots no longer do what
we want them to may already be here.
- De Garis' machine quickly decided it
was camera shy and refused to be filmed by a CNN crew.
- Shy or not, only time will tell if these
artificially intelligent machines will evolve enough to bring about our