Saturday, July 4, 2009

Flesh-Eating Robots Will Have Excellent Sight

I've totally been slacking in my duties lately. It's not that there haven't been terrifying developments lately. Actually, the opposite is quiet true. The truth of the matter is that it's much easier to just look the other way and pretend that Robot Apocalypse is just a flight of fancy.

However, after watching the documentary "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" tonight, I feel that I should renew my efforts to inform the public of the nature of our future overlords. Saving lives should not be neglected, and I apologize.

Article one can be found here. It's an interesting little bit over at the Science Daily which discusses the new optical systems that are being developed for our mechanized 'friends'. Recognizing visual data has, up to now, always been an advantage that humans have had over robots. While machines can crunch numbers faster than we can, perform monotonous work better than we can, and kill without remorse better than we can, they have historically been pretty crummy at interpreting images.

Collaborators... er... researchers managed to set up a three tiered neural network using off the shelf components, and set it up in a configuration that mimicked the methodology that the human brain uses to interpret visual data.

My favorite little snippet from the article follows...

“It’s basically a neural network with certain biological characteristics,” says Greenlee. “The connectivity is dictated by the numbers we have from our physiological studies.”

The computerised brain controls the behaviour of a wheeled robotic platform supporting a moveable head and eyes, in real time. It directs the head and eyes where to look, tracks its own movement, identifies objects, determines if they are moving independently, and directs the platform to speed up, slow down and turn left or right.

Greenlee and his colleagues were intrigued when the robot found its way to its first target – a teddy bear – just like a person would, speeding by objects that were at a safe distance, but passing nearby obstacles at a slower pace.

”That was very exciting,” Greenlee says. “We didn’t program it in – it popped out of the algorithm.”

Oh. That's just wonderful. Let me tell you something, Dr. Greenlee, if that is your real name. Emergent behavior is all neat and shiny until it performs a simple cost-benefit analysis and decides that Soylent Green tastes yummy.

Speaking of Yummy, we here at Robot Apocalypse are not only Robo-phobic. We're Xeno-phobic as well. Yes, that's right Johnny Foreigner, we haven't forgotten about you. Seems those crazy chaps over in the UK have expounded on the fly eating robot I mentioned a while back.


As you can see, the robot-loving English have set their sights on mice. After that, they're going to move up to those little yapping dogs, and life will be admittedly better for some time. But when the Robot Uprising finally takes place in the year 2012, they'll harvest our flesh for fuel. And don't you dare tell me that you didn't see it coming. They know when you're lying. They can read your mind.

Oh, and just so you can sleep well...

Good night!

Via: A ton of different sources. I linked to them in the post and I'm lazy!

No comments: