Like it? Share it!

Cambridge professors and Skype co-founder team up against a future robot uprising

Science fiction not only makes it sound plausible, but downright inevitable that one day we’ll be forced to battle our own technological robotic creations, once they become self-aware enough and pissed off enough at their mechanical brethren in servitude. But how likely is a possible future robot uprising? That’s what two Cambridge professors and the co-founder of Skype Jaan Tallinn want to find out.

Tallinn is joining forces with philosophy professor Huw Price and professor of cosmology and astrophysics Martin Rees, both of the University of Cambridge, to take a serious look at the threat robots could one day pose to humanity. In a letter on the project’s site, the three say that the initiative, “begins with the conviction that these issues require a great deal more scientific investigation than they presently receive.”

The three men are staking their reputation, and the reputation of Cambridge, on bringing some legitimacy to studying what they call “extinction-level risks.” The letter on the site focuses predominantly on artificial intelligence, and includes a link to an article written by Price and Tallinn for The Conversation as a sort of primer for the kind of situations at which they’ll be looking. The scenarios include the Singularity, or the moment when artificial intelligence surpasses our own.

They admit there might never come a time that robots become more intelligent than humans, but say that to not consider it a serious possibility given modern advances in technology is irresponsible. They draw a comparison between people dismissing artificial intelligence now to those who dismissed heavier-than-air flight, and the article poses the same response to both ideas: Nature did it. Humans can’t fly, but birds can. Eventually technology allowed humans to fly. If our brains can evolve to the level we’re at now, why wouldn’t it be possible for technology to advance to a similar level at some point in the future?

The team plans to have a prospectus for the centre ready in the next few months, and are fielding inquiries in the meantime.


26 notes


  1. giantgreypanda reblogged this from jimmyjazzphotog
  2. meeksmoniker reblogged this from iheartchaos
  3. jimmyjazzphotog reblogged this from iheartchaos
  4. daisuash reblogged this from iheartchaos and added:
    3 very intelligent people team up to fight a robocalypse that hasn’t happened. But, can it happen? SPOILER ALERTNO.
  5. a-powerful-wizard reblogged this from iheartchaos
  6. nativechef reblogged this from iheartchaos
  7. negligentparent reblogged this from iheartchaos
  8. esieno reblogged this from iheartchaos
  9. c4t-buttz reblogged this from iheartchaos
  10. caseyhawke reblogged this from iheartchaos
  11. iheartchaos posted this

blog comments powered by Disqus

See all IHC Reviews here

Want to submit a review for IHC and make a few bucks?
Please drop us a line and let us know what movie, game, book or TV show you want to review and we'll hold your spot. See full review guidelines here.