LONDON (TIP): The Cambridge University is set to open a centre for ‘terminator studies’ where leading academics will study the danger that robots pose, with experts saying in future machines may be an existential threat to humans. Its purpose will be to study the four greatest threats to the human species, artificial intelligence, climate change, nuclear war and rogue biotechnology. The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) will be colaunched by Lord Rees, the astronomer royal and one of the world’s top cosmologists, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported. Rees’s 2003 book ‘Our Final Century’ had warned that the destructiveness of humanity meant that the species could wipe itself out by 2100.
The idea that machines might one day take over humanity has featured in many science fiction books and films, including the Terminator, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a homicidal robot. In 1965, Irving John ‘Jack’ Good wrote a paper for New Scientist called ‘Speculations concerning the first ultraintelligent machine’.