5 Robots Learning Scary New Skills

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Westworld’s robots aren’t the only ones learning to be more “alive.” Just in time for the Westworld season finale, Dark5 examines 5 scary new skills being learned by the robots, androids, and artificial intelligence that may someday want to replace us.
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Flesh Eating
The US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency made troubling headlines in 2009 when it revealed the EATR…
…an “Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot” designed to power itself using living flesh, both plant and animal.
EATR’s mission is to provide a platform for long-range endurance missions where conventional power sources are unavailable.
Equipped with a gripper claw and a chainsaw, EATR automatically searches for “suitable fuel” to digest in its biomass furnace…
…a function that turns the platform into a host that “feeds” smaller mission-specific PackBots traveling inside of it…

Russian researchers are apparently at a loss to explain why their robot, Promobot IR77, keeps trying to escape.
The machine was reportedly able to flee its research facility home on at least several occasions in 2016…
…becoming skilled at finding open exits and making it out into the street before running out of battery.
Promobots are designed to serve as hosts that mimic human behavior in order to realistically replicate human interaction.
The robot’s creators claim that they may have to “dispose” of the unit after several attempts to flash its memory failed…

Do androids dream of electric sheep?
Google’s artificial neural network may be one step closer to answering the question with its 2015 “DeepDream” project.
DeepDream was originally developed to detect faces and patterns in images and to automatically classify their content.
Engineers, however, were curious to see the neural connections formed by the algorithm and flipped the network in reverse.
Left to “day dream,” the highest-level neural layers began generating images that expressed the network’s “view” of the world.
Dubbed “Inceptionism,” the phenomenon is eerily similar to how the human brain creatively interrupts shapes in the clouds…

A 2016 investigative journalism project by Insurge Intelligence connected disturbing dots in the DoD’s Human Systems Roadmap…
…alleging that the US military is planning to use predictive social media analytics to locate and eliminate human targets.
The robotic weapons system would be fully automated and base its targeting on tweets, blogs, Instagram, and Facebook posts…
…identifying “persons of interest” via network correlations and classifying potential threats for termination.
Among the goals of the program are “compressing the kill chain” of command and eventual “system self-awareness”…

This tiny artificial stingray has been called a “living robot” by the scientists who created it at Harvard University.
A prototype was built in early 2016 using 200,000 rat heart cells wrapped in gel and given a skeleton made of gold.
The cardiac cells have modified DNA that react to light and generate an electrical signal through the musculature.
Variations in the wavelength of light used triggers cells in different areas to mimic a real stingray’s undulating motion.
The complex propulsion system allows the robot stingray to follow light sources and navigate around an obstacle course…

What do you think? Just bullsh*t?

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