Planet of the machines

In 1984, director James Cameron brought The Terminator to cinemas across the world, featuring artificial intelligence called Skynet which sent a machine back through time to kill the future leader of the human resistance (obviously, fighting against an army of machines). In the 1991 sequel, a machine is reprogrammed to save the same leader against a new Skynet threat. So is the threat of future intelligent machines real? There is a hypothetical point at which artificial intelligence, or AI, would be capable of continuous self-improvement to the point of becoming completely autonomous, and ever smarter, eventually surpassing human control and understanding. This crossing point is termed ‘technological singularity’. Just this year, a Google computer outsmarted a human at the considerably complex board game Go for the first time. The UK…


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