In search of a robot more like us

John Markoff, writing in the Times, about the struggle to teach robots to perform tasks that are simple for humans. Here’s what I wonder: If/when robots achieve intelligence equal to or greater than our own, will they even want to be like us? Will they be astonished at how much time and effort we put into trying to create a mechanical version of ourselves? My sense is the robots will not be overly impressed with humans, and might have little interest in being like us.

The Singularity is … not near at all?

So says neuroscientist David Linden (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Chief Editor of the Journal of Neuropysiology) in this essay.

Basic gist: All of that cool stuff that Ray Kurzweil told you about, like the nanobots swimming around in your brain and uploading yourself into a computer? Um, it ain’t gonna happen.

I am a neurobiologist and I have spent the past 28 years engaged in studies of the cellular and molecular basis of memory and cognition. I am an optimist and a technophile, but I believe that I speak for the vast majority of brain researchers when I express serious doubts about Kurzweil’s timetable.