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The New Age Of I Robot

1183 words - 5 pages

Robots of the world! The power of man has fallen! A new world has arisen: the Rule of the Robots! March! (Capek, 1921). This was a grim scene from the first play to coin the term robot. From the very first literature to use the term robot, these creatures of man were made out to be feared. Now we enter the age where early science fiction authors predicted we would all have our own personal robots. The actual science behind intelligent robotic-thought has been harder than imagined but not impossible. In fact I have found research that shows that these authors were not all that far off. But what effect will it have on humanity? Will Robots take over the world? I think not. .
Throughout time many things have had an effect on human life. I believe that computers and robotics have had the largest effect of all. The computer has managed to solve problems for which no algorithms were known, and robots have displaced many manufacturing and labor jobs. But machine is not man’s master. The form of computers has continued to change, but not one has been able to reproduce the grim scenes of Karel Capek’s 1921 play R. U. R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). His play was the first to use the word “robots”. A term coined by Capek’s brother Josef Capek (Lidove noviny, 24.12.1933), which just means laborer or a type of slave or peasant. The play was also the first to display robots killing all of humanity. 90 years later this has still not happened, but was Capek’s story for entertainment or a warning. Can a robot like this exist today? One smarter at reason than we?
In 1994, L. Adleman, an American theoretical computer scientist and professor of computer science and molecular biology at the University of Southern California, had published a paper on building a computer from biological molecules (Adleman 1994). Since then many have theorized on the compounds or molecules that would be used, also the algorithms that would be required to operate such a computer. Today a new computer is coming to light. This new computer is known as a “Molecular Computer”. Physicist Ranjit Pati of Michigan Tech provided the theoretical underpinnings for this tiny computer composed not of silicon but of organic molecules on a gold substrate (Goodrich, 2010). Molecular computing, also known as DNA computing, is using organic compounds like carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and chlorine to build tiny processors that can work like silicon chips only better. They are different in the material but most of all in their ability to self-assemble and repair themselves. But still, we ask are they intelligent?
“Modern computers are quite fast, capable of executing trillions of instructions a second,” Pati says, “but they can’t match the intelligent performance of our brain.” He goes on to say, “Our neurons only fire about a thousand times per second, but I can see you, recognize you, talk with you, and hear someone walking by the hallway almost instantaneously, a Herculean task for even the...

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