TERMINATOR NOW: The Rise Of The Machines – Professor Stephen Hawking Warns That Computers Will Overtake Humans WITHIN 100 YEARS; Influential Tech CEO Elon Musk Lives In Fear Of Google’s Killer Robot Army; As China Starts Construction On FIRST ALL-ROBOT Manufacturing Plant!

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May 13, 2015 – TECHNOLOGY
– The growing field of artificial intelligence is catching the eye of academics and technology leaders worldwide.

Stephen Hawking warns computers will overtake humans within 100 years

Stephen Hawking today warned that computers will overtake humans in terms of intelligence at some point within the next century.

Speaking at the Zeitgeist 2015 conference in London, the internationally renowned cosmologist and Cambridge University professor, said: “Computers will overtake humans with AI at some within the next 100 years. When that happens, we need to make sure the computers have goals aligned with ours.”

Hawking, who signed an open letter alongside Elon Musk earlier this year warning AI development should not go on uncontrolled, added: “Our future is a race between the growing power of technology and the wisdom with which we use it.”

Professor Stephen Hawking

In the short term, people are concerned about who controls AI, but in the long term, the concern will be whether AI can be controlled at all, said Hawking.

AI can be defined as the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It has the potential to have a profound impact on the world as people know and it’s an area being pursued by global tech giants such as Google and Facebook.

AI technology is already built into devices we use in our every day lives. For example, Siri, an intelligent personal assistant that sits inside iPhones and iPads is underpinned by AI developed by Apple, while Google’s self-driving vehicles also rely heavily on AI. According to the FT, more than 150 startups in Silicon Valley are working on AI today.

Hawking believes that scientists and technologists need to safely and carefully coordinate and communicate advancements in AI to ensure it does not grow beyond humanity’s control. – Tech World.

Elon Musk lives in fear of Google’s killer robot army

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., unveils the company’s newest products, Powerwall and Powerpack in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, April 30, 2015.

Elon Musk’s relationship with Google cofounder Larry Page is complicated, to say the least.

On the one hand, the two influential tech CEOs are close friends and business associates; on the other hand, Musk is genuinely worried that Page might just lead to the destruction of humanity as we know it.

“I’m really worried about this,” Musk is quoted as saying in Elon Musk, a new authorized biography of the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

“This,” according to the book, refers to the possibility that Page would develop artificially-intelligent robots that could turn evil and have the ability to annihilate the human race.

Page may be well-meaning, but as Musk says, “He could produce something evil by accident.”

Google has acquired more than half a dozen robotics companies to date, but the company’s ultimate goal for robots is unclear. Andy Rubin, the executive in charge of the (maybe not killer) robot effort, left Google late last year.

Both Page and Musk have publicly discussed their views on artificial intelligence — though not directed at each other.

Google CEO Larry Page, foreground, and Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of
Android, Chrome and Apps, left, walk along the demo floor at Google I/O 2014
in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

“We do have lots of proof points that one can create intelligent things in the world because– all of us around,” Page said in an interview last year. “Therefore, you should presume that someday, we will be able to make machines that can reason, think and do things better than we can.”

A few months after that, Musk told an interviewer that he believes “something seriously dangerous” may come about from AI in the next 5-10 years. “Please note that I am normally super pro technology and have never raised this issue until recent months. This is not a case of crying wolf about something I don’t understand.”

A budding bromance
Musk and Page had very different upbringings — the former had a difficult childhood in South Africa during apartheid; the latter grew up in Michigan — but they are similar in age, disposition and the desire to pursue projects that sound impossible or downright crazy.

Each week, Musk bounces between the SpaceX and Tesla offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively. When in San Francisco, Musk crashes at the homes of friends, including Page.

“He’s kind of homeless, which I think is sort of funny,” Page is quoted as saying in the biography. “He’ll email and say,’I don’t know where to stay tonight. Can I come over?’ I haven’t given him a key or anything yet.”

Sometimes Musk will meet with Page and Google cofounder Sergey Brin at a “secret apartment” owned by the Internet giant to talk through ridiculous ideas.

“It’s kind of our recreation, I guess,” Page says in the book. “It’s fun for the three of us to talk about kind of crazy things, and we find stuff that eventually turns out to be real. We go through hundreds or thousands of possible things before arriving at the ones that are most promising.”

One such idea, according to a friend who once attended the brainstorm: “building a commuter plane that was always circling the Earth, and you’d hop up to it and get places incredibly fast.”

Friends with benefits
The close friendship has yielded business benefits for Musk’s risky businesses.

Both Page and Brin personally invested in Tesla before the car company went public. Earlier this year, Google joined with Fidelity to invest $1 billion in SpaceX, Musk’s private aerospace manufacturing business.

At one point, Musk even turned to Page to bailout his company.

In April, 2013, with Tesla on the cusp of failure, Musk reached out to Page about acquiring Tesla and keeping him in charge until it could put out a car. According to the book, the pair had a handshake agreement on a deal that would have cost Google about $11 billion in total — though it’s worth noting Tesla has a market cap of $30 billion today.

The next month, Tesla turned its its first profit. The stock surged and Musk backed out of the deal. The rest is history.

It’s good to have friends in high places — as long as they don’t unintentionally ruin civilization. – Mashable.

Building work starts on first all-robot manufacturing plant in China’s Dongguan

China’s robot makers could see a growing market as traditional
manufacturers look to automate their plants. Photo: Reuters

Construction work has begun on the first factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan to use only robots for production, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 1,000 robots would be introduced at the factory initially, run by Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology Co, with the aim of reducing the current workforce of 1,800 by 90 per cent to only about 200, Chen Xingqi, the chairman of the company’s board, was quoted as saying in the report.

The company did not give a figure for the investment in the factory, but said its production capacity could reach a value of 2 billion yuan (US$322 million) annually.

Robots are set to take over in many factories in the Pearl River Delta, the area of southern China known as the ‘world’s workshop’ because of the huge export manufacturing industry there, as labour shortages bite and local authorities face the need to spur innovation to counter the economic slowdown.

Since September, a total of 505 factories across Dongguan have invested 4.2 billion yuan in robots, aiming to replace more than 30,000 workers, according to the Dongguan Economy and Information Technology Bureau.

By 2016, up to 1,500 of the city’s industrial enterprises will began replacing humans with robots.

The provincial authorities of Guangdong said early this year they would spend 943 billion yuan on replacing human labour with robots within the next three years. Cities in the province are handing out annual subsidies of between 200 and 500 million yuan to makers of robots and to manufacturers who install robots on assembly lines.

The provincial capital, Guangzhou, has set a goal of fostering a robot-manufacturing industry with an output value of more than 100 billion yuan by 2020, as well as automating more than 80 per cent of the city’s manufacturing production.

The government of the city of Foshan has said the value of its automation and robotics market would reach 300 billion yuan in five years.

Labour shortages have long troubled the Pearl River Delta region, though the situation has improved slightly in the past few years.

According to Guangdong’s labour department, in March 2015 after the Lunar New Year holiday, the province needed between 600,000 and 800,000 workers. That was about the same as in 2014 but less than the 1 million shortage in 2012.

In the same period in 2010, the shortage had been 2 million.

The period after the Lunar New Year is traditionally the time of greatest labour shortages since most workers in the province are migrants and many do not return to their jobs after going back home for the holiday. – SCMP.

 

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