“There’s a neat circularity to this. Peter Diamandis grew up in Brooklyn, the son of Greek immigrant parents, and was himself inspired to become a scientist by the Apollo mission, doing degrees in medicine and molecular biology and finally a PhD in aerospace engineering at MIT. The Singularity University isn’t even the first university he’s founded. He set up the International Space University while he was still in his 20s and which has now trained an entire generation of NASA scientists. It’s why Buzz Aldrin has come along, and why another astronaut, Dan Barry, teaches the SU’s robotics course (Barry’s big prediction: cyberdildonics. Robot sex. ‘You think it’s funny, right? But I’m also a rehabilitation physician, and sex is a basic human drive robots will be able to fulfil for the disabled, the widowed, the elderly. It’s going to happen. You might as well accept it and get in on the ground floor.’)
The future isn’t all thrilling robo-sex and free solar energy though. Barry’s talk also includes video of some of the other robots in development. If you think drones are scary, it’s because you haven’t yet seen the video on YouTube of autonomous swarming quadrocoptors. Or the hummingbird-shaped drone that can hover in the air and then fly in through a window, or Big Dog, which looks like something from Blade Runner, or, just last week, a new one with legs that can go where no Dalek ever could: up stairs.
None of these are being developed to help with meals on wheels or palliative care nursing, though. They’re war machines, most of which are being developed with funding or support from DARPA.”
“Preparing humanity for accelerating technological change”: