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PunchKicker

The Evil Robotic Arms Race ("ERAR") [ERN - Ding! Coooined it!] is coming along swimmingly, for the Evil Robots.... Here is an example of a pretty unsettling development. The creation of a new, radically inexpensive, amazingly powerful, form of synthetic muscle. All the better to smash you with my dears.

What if you were to replace one of these:

With one of these:


'nuff said...




" 'The energy per cycle that we obtain from these artificial muscles, and their weightlifting abilities, are extraordinary,' says Baughman. They can lift about 100 times heavier weight and generate about 100-times higher power than natural muscle of the same weight and length.' When Baughman says power, he's referring to the the rate at which these artificial muscles perform (i.e. the work they carry out per unit time). It's a measurement that most people are accustomed to hearing expressed in units of horsepower. Buaghman's fishing line muscles can generate about seven horsepower of mechanical power per kilogram of polymer fiber. That's the kind of power-to-weight ratio you see with jet engines –about five-times that of your typical internal combustion engine. "

Full story @ io9 God bless 'em...

What You Can Expect 1.5

There are, actually, very many theories, expectations, forecasts, prognostications and so forth, about what the actual inception of a "legitimate" artificial intelligence into the networks and "real world" of humankind might be like. It has to be said, also, that we might be wise to look to Hollywood, absolutely last, for what a cogent interpretation about all of these, potentially horrifying, developments might be like.

Since, though, Hollywood's cultural influence is so, seemingly, insurmountable, we think that it's probably not such a great idea to ignore it entirely. Plus, they make it all look so "sexy", don't they?

Therefore, we will offer the below snippet of the "end of the world as we know it" for your consideration. While we think that it would be unwise to see it as the very cloth from which Evil Robot domination will be cut, we're not all that uncertain that it is not a reasonable fictional facsimile.

The "honest" truth, that is to say, no more than our collective "hunch", really; is that the arrival on the human scene of a "true AI", and its consequent material shock troops of Evil Robots is, almost certainly, by its relative definition, beyond our common conception. If you feel like you've got the inside track though, don't be shy. We're not proud, the era of human pride may be about to experience a shocking readjustment. That's how we see it at any rate...

It has been, officially, foretold...





It Begins (Well, it's already well begun, but, you know...)

You have, no doubt, got wind of this one already. Please allow us though, if you would, to accentuate somewhat, the terror...

The horrible synergy of International Mega-Corps and their tangential progeny, Evil Robots, hastens. It is a, fairly, foregone conclusion that truly deft and effective robotic technologies are going to be, at first, maximized by those with the intellectual property and liquid capital to bring them quickly to the fore.

If you can think of a, currently, deeper reservoir of intellectual property and liquid capital than Google Corporation, we would be very interested in hearing about that. So, at this moment, we can take the below development as a disturbingly close warning shot (which is not, in fact, a warning at all, merely a "calibration") across the bow of The Goode Shippe Humanity from our good friends at Google, whose nominal motto is, or was once at least, "Don't be evil". Well...

Their most recent and, we assure you, unholy, dalliance with DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is their aquisition of Boston Dynamics ("...the eighth robotics company Google has picked up in the last six months"), a frightfully competent group of robotics engineers, previously funded for the production of these cutting edge robotic systems by DARPA. (Search "DARPA" and "Boston Dynamics" here on our site for scads more context). The writing, as they say is, clearly, on the wall.

We do not want to condescend, never that. We would encourage you though, to begin to "stack the blocks" about the relevant developments that are taking place here, rather closely now, around you. Vigilance!


Full image credit to sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

"Search giant Google is expanding its empire of robots by acquiring Boston Dynamics - the company that makes BigDog, WildCat and Atlas.

The firm, based in Massachusetts, has made a name for itself by designing creepy robots for the Pentagon that can cope with difficult terrain and stay upright despite being kicked.

It's the eighth robotics company Google has picked up in the last six months [ERN - If that doesn't give you the screamin' heebie-jeebies, you are scarcely conscious...], but the company has yet to announce exactly what it's planning to do with all those bots. They're under the command of Andy Rubin, who founded Android but now runs Google's robotics division."


Full Story @ Wired.co.uk [ERN -no fuller exploration of this, tectonic, development Wired U.S.? Why you no report!?]

Uhhhhh, Yeah...

Just for the record, we are aware here at ERN, that we are not a towering force in international media or technological punditry. The world may eventually come to gravely regret this fact but, just for the record, we are aware of this.

Here in our provincial backwater of the vast blogosphere we toil, largely thanklessly, trying to make the world prick up its ears and take notice that we are becoming surrounded.

So we take it as a good sign, that over in the U.K., some of the big anglo-braniacs are beginning also to get the willies. They seem to say to themselves, "These Evil Robot chaps are getting to be a bit of a sticky wicket, wot wot...and...crumpets..."

Have a look at the below story where Martin Rees, Steven Hawking and others begin to wax paranoiac on the questions of the dangers to the future of humankind. Chief among which of course...


"They are an improbable group of superheroes. But some of Britain's greatest minds have got together to focus their powers on saving humanity from itself.

Led by the Astronomer Royal and Cambridge don Martin Rees, famous thinkers such as physicist Stephen Hawking and former Government chief scientist Robert May have formed a society to draw up a doomsday list of risks that could wipe out mankind.

From crippling cyber-attacks by terrorists using the internet to cause havoc, to the release of engineered diseases and killer computers, they warn the future is far from rosy.

But the work being done by the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) should one day help the world sleep a little easier at night.

Once the threats have been identified, the group intend to devise ways of 'ensuring our own species has a long-term future'.

Full Story @ DailyMail

What You Can Expect 1.4

As we all know, some life paths can arrive at...emotional nether spaces, where human hearts are known to have gathered. Tidal pools of the heart, one might say, where a soul can become sequestered from the larger oceans of intimacy and connection in which swim the mass of humankind. That is until artificial intelligences enter these delicate spaces and hoover up these tender spirits to create heaven knows what sort of new consensus reality of the perception of love.

Take, for instance, an exploration of this idea in Spike Jonze's upcoming film, "her".



Call Me Ishmael...

In the air, upon the Earth, within our bodies and also, upon the briny deeps. There is so much burgeoning technology to keep track of in our midst, here on the unbroken ground. What happens though, untended, out upon the oceans of the world, unobserved by the average citizen? Well, nothing good probably.




"Come, Ahab’s compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! man has ye there. Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!"

- Moby Dick, Herman Melville



"Scout is a twelve foot long autonomous robotic boat designed to cross the Atlantic Ocean, relying only on pre-programmed commands and information that it can collect about its environment through sensors. It is built to deal with anything the ocean can throw at it, and its status will be reported live online. Check out the build page to see how Scout was constructed."

You can get live updates of this Robotic Leviathan's adventures with the projects eerily canny tracker


Full Story @ Makezine

Well, well, well...

If we've got to spell this one out for you, you clearly have not been paying attention. We will not, however, hold that against you. Cognitive Disonance is a prevelant and challenging battle that we all must fight in these "post-salad" days of human decline. Hopefully though, we can forge on and, eventually, emerge victorious.

As we have mentioned before, Here, (and several other places prior - read on intrepid citizen, read on!) and feel little chagrin in stating here again now, one should never allow a robot, of any sort or description, to impel, inject, induce, infer, force, project, osmosize or otherwise, introduce anything into, or extract anything from, their body. Really, just don't. No good can come of that.

In, therefore, stark violation of what is regular "cannon law" around these parts, try your best not to laugh-cry when you take in the following, positively egregious, inversion of all of your basic, common law, intuitive and absolutely every other sensible expression of, your rights to the evasion of human degredation. Brace yourselves...we give you, Veebot [ERN - Or, "Infection Bot", "Exsanguinate Bot", "Worldwide DNA Database Bot", "Nanite Injectionator Bot"; or what have you...]






"Medical robots are nothing new, and they are becoming more and more autonomous as medical tech continues to innovate at a fast pace. Earlier this year, the FDA approved the first human-interacting robots that will allow specialists to converse with, assess, and even diagnose patients remotely. But could you really allow an autonomous device to find the best vein in your arm, stick a needle in it and then give you a lollipop afterwards? I know I couldn't."


Full Story @ Fast Company

Passing The Baton

If you recall, we addressed previously the unwelcome "surprise" that was the PETMAN robot. Well, it looks like our favorite mistake is now all growed up! Also, it looks like it has been tucking well into some bowls of Wheaties.

It gives us some idea of the speed with which these devices are gaining new strengths, equipment and sharper software. If you think the turn around on PETMAN to his descendant was quick, wait till these devices work out the knack of designing and constructing themselves.

One of the ostensible purposes for this device is gaining access to disaster areas where it would be too dangerous for a human first responder to enter. As part of that function, ATLAS, for that is it's name, will have to demonstrate the power and dexterity to move and negotiate "rubble". That is to say, the same level of dexterity it might take to pop open a human skull like a can of 99 Cent Store beans.

This prototype technotronic demon will be demonstrating this, and other eerily human hunter-like skills, at the DARPA Robotics Challenge in December of 2013 in Miami Florida. So, if you feel like a few Mojito's while witnessing the creeping descent of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens, into ash bin of biological history, head on down!





Full Story @ Robotics Trends

What You Can Expect 1.3

There are, let's just put it all on the table, many perspectives within this site that might seem a touch...melodramatic; somewhat overstated perhaps? We though, in our shivering paranoia, are readily willing to admit that. Therefore, we like to punctuate ( in contrast to our wild disregard for the rules of punctuation in general ) our craven prognostications, from time to time, with the sage words of more sober minds.

To that end, we would like to present you with this cogent missive, from a man whom few could refer to as reactionary, or otherwise "off center", with the exception, perhaps, and we hesitate to say this, of his unwarranted deference to Al Gore. But, he is in "polite company", et cetera, et cetera and so, 'nuff said. We tend to think that he's closer to our side of the fence, but the real determination is, of course, yours. And, while we do take exception to some of the perspectives that he expresses here, few, but...some, we cannot, directly, take exception with the man himself; few could we expect. We will leave it though, to your, inevitably, more rational level of discernment...

Don't forget to visit as well, our earlier entreaty to our readers on the thoughts and feelings of this remarkable man, here. It is an oldie, but a goodie...




What's Gotten Into You?

There is so little in today's widely networked world that we can truly call our own. Our conversations, digital, and increasingly actual, are being recorded and duly databased, stored for future painstaking analysis by our Evil Robot Overlords. Our faces, bodies, and even our own unique ambling gaits are imaged, analysed via advanced biometrics and, again, duly cached.

Well, there is always the insular safety and comforting warmth of one's own thoughts. We can always sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy the rich store of images, notions and memories that are so uniquely our own; a precious respite.

Neuroscience is now discovering though, or should we say, is now allowing to be revealed ( there is a crucial difference ), that technologies exist which may very well allow the "inception", ( interesting choice of words, no? ) of false memories into the mind.


It is always important, while keeping an ever watchful eye on the Evil Robot without, to not ignore the frightening potentialities of the "inception" of the dark seeds of the Evil Robot within...

The, no doubt bustling, Neuroscience Department at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology are preparing a delightful mnemonic joy ride into the sanctum sanctorum of the human mind. Don't worry though, once they've turned your hippocampus over like a troupe of desperate bandits would a shanty hovel, you probably won't remember a thing...





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