Saturday, September 09, 2006

Robocup

I was watching Cartoon network of all things and saw something really dorky but really interesting. Robocup is a project in artificial intelligence where they have leagues in which people program robots to play soccer competitively. The most fascinating league to me is the one where they reprogram the code in Sony Aibo dogs to enable them to play soccer. Basically, they delete the Aibo's original program, which enables them to follow you around like a real dog would, and then replace it with a new program so it can make basic judgment calls and play soccer with other Aibo's. Picture if you can a bunch of plastic dogs running pushing little balls. They even have goalie dogs.
Although I enjoy watching little robot dogs running around playing soccer I wonder how far AI has to go. Haven't these people watched T2? If we can teach robots to play soccer how much longer is it until judgment day? I do appreciate where this technology is going. Robot dogs can play soccer for us? That's great. Robot firefighters could save human lives? Even better. Robots could go and fight our wars for us? Well, it's better than humans dying in wars. I'm just worried about how far it will go. I don't mind the idea of robots going to war; I just don't want them going to war on us.
It seems to me that if we don't be careful about how far AI technology goes, it may just get out of our control. Maybe you think it's just the stuff of Hollywood, but computer intelligence is growing at a rapid pace. It is not a question of if, but of when robots and computers are more intelligent than us. The only hope I see is that they never develop human characteristics like pride and ego and that they stay content doing their jobs. If not, surely we as a race will be undone by what we created.

1 comment:

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