Thursday, December 22, 2005

Scariest Robot Story of All Time

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So I was talking with Bourbonbird the other night, and was going off about why robots are evil and in the future will kill us all, and remembered the following article. Read it and weep, meat units:

Robot on the run

By Dave Higgens, London
June 20 2002

Scientists running a pioneering experiment with "living robots" which think for themselves said they were amazed to find one escaping from the centre where it "lives".

The small unit, called Gaak, was one of 12 taking part in a "survival of the fittest" test at the Magna science centre in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, which has been running since March.

Gaak made its bid for freedom yesterday after it had been taken out of the arena where hundreds of visitors watch the machines learning as they do daily battle for minor repairs.

Professor Noel Sharkey said he turned his back on the drone and returned 15 minutes later to find it had forced its way out of the small make-shift paddock it was being kept in.

He later found it had travelled down an access slope, through the front door of the centre and was eventually discovered at the main entrance to the car park when a visitor nearly flattened it with his car.

Sharkey said: "Since the experiment went live in March they have all learned a significant amount and are becoming more intelligent by the day but the fact that it had ability to navigate itself out of the building and along the concrete floor to the gates has surprised us all."

And he added: "But there's no need to worry, as although they can escape they are perfectly harmless and won't be taking over just yet."

Motorist Dan Lowthorpe, 27, from Sheffield, who nearly prematurely terminated Gaak said: "I have visited Magna a couple of times in the past but came on this occasion especially to see the new robots.

"You can imagine how surprised I was when I nearly ran over one on my way in. I knew the robots interacted with each but didn't expect to be personally greeted by one."

(found HERE. Also, for more robot-induced terror read this article about a robot gaining self-awareness in a lab)

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