Dr. J. Storrs Hall is an expert on molecular nanotechnology and the head of the Foresight Nanotech Institute (which raises awareness about the very same). That means he spends a lot of time thinking about robots. Or, to be specific, the kind of robots that will take over the world.
In a piece titled "More on the AI takeover," Dr. Hall outlines four classes of 'bots he could see rising up:
Robo insectis: rote, mechanical gadgets (or thinkers) with hand-coded skills, such as Roomba or industrial robots or automated call-center systems or dictation programs."Rising up" may be the wrong way to put it, actually. What Dr. Hall is advocating is a future in which we let robots handle whatever load they can, freeing up the rest of us to live more leisurely.
Robo habilis: Rosie the housemaid robot level intelligence, able to handle service level jobs in the real world but not a rocket scientist.
Robo sapiens: up to and including rocket scientists, AI researchers, corporate executives, any human capability.
Robo googolis: a collection of top R. sapiens wired together in a box running at accelerated speed, equivalent to, say, Google (the company and the search engine together).
"The key thing to remember when thinking about the economic AI takeover is that it is not something we should be trying to prevent," Dr. Hall continues. "Why shouldn't we spend our efforts deciding what needs to be done, and let the machines do it?"
Why not, indeed? What about you, dear reader? Would you be all for living in a world run by robots?