Attack of the Worminators

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Attack of the Worminators

Nicholas Looney, Staff Writer

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We’ve all heard some kind of story about Artificial Intelligence (or A.I.) becoming self aware and attempting to exterminate humanity. We all assume this type of thing wouldn’t happen for decades, if not centuries. But what if I told you we’re much closer than you think?

One year ago, scientists from around the world met to carry out a scientific feat of great magnitude. They successfully mapped out the brain and the neurons of the nervous system of a roundworm, and uploaded the “blueprints” into a Lego robot. Yes, that’s right. We are one step closer to uploading consciousness into machines. The robot now behaves almost exactly like a round worm. It backs away from obstacles, and can navigate its way through them. It also goes toward any food it senses, even though it cannot and does not need it anymore. Worms usually have nose neurons that allow it to sense things. These have been replaced by a sonar sensor. There is still work to be done, because it cannot display behaviors such as looking for a mate or identifying and running away from predators. Yes, it may seem like limited technology, but this achievement marks a significant advance in A.I. technology. Who knows? We may find ourselves running from robotic worms one day…

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