Elon Musk's recent announcement of an upcoming Tesla Bot -- complete with a human form, "human-level hands" and a characteristically optimistic delivery date -- has garnered a healthy serving of criticism for good reason. Among other capabilities, Musk says, the robot will eventually be capable of running errands such as going to the grocery store alone. Boston Dynamics, which has developed the most advanced humanoid robot ever created, has spent more than a decade working on its Atlas platform. While progress has been impressive, with Atlas running, jumping and even dancing in front of tens of millions of YouTube viewers, the company is quick to acknowledge that the robot is a long way from performing complex tasks autonomously. One of the best examples of evolutionary robotics potential -- and unfulfilled promise -- goes as far back as 2010 to a study published in the PLOS Biology journal.
Rapid developments in evolutionary computation, robotics, 3D-printing, and material science are enabling advanced systems of robots that can autonomously reproduce and evolve. The emerging technology of robot evolution challenges existing AI ethics because the inherent adaptivity, stochasticity, and complexity of evolutionary systems severely weaken human control and induce new types of hazards. In this paper we address the question how robot evolution can be responsibly controlled to avoid safety risks. We discuss risks related to robot multiplication, maladaptation, and domination and suggest solutions for meaningful human control. Such concerns may seem far-fetched now, however, we posit that awareness must be created before the technology becomes mature.
One of the trademarks that distinguishes robots from humans is the ability to reproduce. This dividing between man and machine just got blurrier. Researchers in Amsterdam have created robots that can mate and spawn offspring through a process similar to human reproduction. Robots have created quite a stir in the media recently, as more and more machines take on human tasks. Some estimates suggest automation could take over half of the work force.
It's the question asked by a group of scientists in Amsterdam, whose radical new project aims to create smarter, more advanced robots through a process similar to sexual reproduction. While the idea may sound far-fetched, they've already demonstrated a proof of concept – in February, two robot parents came together to'mate,' and the first'robot baby' was born. What if robots could evolve? It's the question asked by a group of scientists in Amsterdam, whose radical new project aims to create smarter, more advanced robots through a process similar to sexual reproduction. On the right, the two parent robots can be seen near their'baby,' which is pictured left Robots are put into an arena where they live, work, and reproduce.
Bottlenose dolphins are "hypersexual creatures" Patricia Brennan has forged a controversial career in studying the twist and turns of the evolution of animal genitalia. A biologist based at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, her latest research suggests that bottlenose dolphins have clitorises that have evolved for pleasure – something she says makes sense given the amount of sex the animals have. Brennan tells New Scientist about her latest discovery and why it's so important to study female genitalia. Patricia Brennan: I have been collaborating with a researcher who was studying vaginas in dolphins. Dolphins have very complicated vaginas, which contain many folds.