Robots could outnumber humans by 2040?

Robotic Armageddon – it's a dreadful scenario that experts around the world, from physicist Stephen Hawking to computer billionaire Bill Gates, have repeatedly warned over the years.

With the astonishing speed of developments in the field of technology and computers, artificial intelligence could – and would – one day bring humanity to its knees if we don't control ourselves, according to their scenarios.

The plausibility of a "artilect" (artificial intellect) war is no less more prevalent than in the rate robots are outnumbering humans, a software programmer turned author has recently warned, pointing out that robot population can reach the same level as that of humans as early as 2040.

In a blog post uploaded on January 3, Logan Streondj, a programmer from Toronto, Canada, recently concluded that at current rates, parity between robot and human population will be reached by 2040, when the number of robots and humans being produced per year will be the same.

In the midst of his research for his novel — entitled "A Home for Robots or-else Artilect War!" — Streondj began a statistical calculation, using a variety of sources, to find out when will robot population will reach parity with the "homo-sapiens" population.

He started with statistics website World Counts, which states there are roughly 350,000 humans born every day, the equivalent of 130 million a year, with a growth rate of about 1 percent.

Then he correlated them with data from the International Federation of Robotics, which notes that there were about five million robots produced in 2014 (including service and industrial robots), with a growth rate of around 15 percent.

“Using a compound interest calculator and presuming rates stay relatively constant, [it’s possible to] figure out that in around 25 years (2040), parity will be reached — the number of robots and humans being produced per year will be the same,” Streondj wrote.

“However, while homo-sapiens live on average 70 years, according to World Fact Book, robots have a life expectancy closer to 10 years, so companies would need to produce about seven times more robots per year in order to have the same number as humans, which will be reached in the early 2050s.

If, however, there is no assistance from humans fighting for the entitlements of robots, and the robots are forced to revolt by themselves, likely they would do so when outnumbering humans 10 to 1, which would (assuming trends continue) be in 55 years, or around 2070.”

In short, using that time frame, Streondj concludes that robots could revolt against humans between the years 2040 and 2055. At that time, artificial intellect (computer intelligence superior to that of humans in one or more spheres of knowledge) might carry an implicit will to use such intelligence, according to experts.

“Intuitively, it would seem to be around the time when there are as many or more robots than homo-sapiens on the planet, at which point there may be enough sufficiently intelligent robots to demand a space for themselves,” he said.

Renowned scientists, such as Stephen Hawking and Oxford University’s Nick Bostrom, have earlier warned that machines could outsmart humans within the next hundred years.

Hawking told the BBC in 2014 that artificial intelligence could spell the end for humanity, while Bostrom agrees that the future of the human race is likely to be shaped by machines.

Billionaires like PayPal founder Elon Musk and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates have also expressed their concerns over the uncontrolled development of AI.

However, many other scientists in the field, such Microsoft Research chief Eric Horvitz, say AI fears have been greatly overblown. (With report from Business Insider)

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