Robot Makes Scientific Discovery Entirely On Its Own

And so it has begun: scientists have created a robotic system that has made novel scientific discovery without any human input:

Scientists designed "Adam" to carry out the entire scientific process on its own: formulating hypotheses, designing and running experiments, analyzing data, and deciding which experiments to run next.

"It's a major advance," says David Waltz of the Center for Computational Learning Systems at Columbia University. "Science is being done here in a way that incorporates artificial intelligence. It's automating a part of the scientific process that hasn't been automated in the past."

[...]

Adam's British designers, led by Ross King at Aberystwyth University in Wales, acknowledge that the robot's discoveries have been "of a modest kind" thus far. Its proving ground as a scientist has been the genome of baker's yeast, a popular laboratory species. Baker's yeast is one of the best understood organisms, but 10 to 15 percent of its roughly 6,000 genes have unknown functions. The scientists hoped Adam could shed light on some of these mystery genes.

I, for one, welcome our new robot scientist overlords: Link


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machines cannot preform the scientific method.

they cannot determine the diference between what is not a problem and what is.

give a robot 3 perceptions:
vision
hearing
touch

and then connect those to:
a speaker and biotic movement devices

no programing, thats it

also give it a hardrive of like 3k terabytes or something
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Artificial Intelligence is a complex illusion. As one who studied and practiced it, I know this. Trust me, we have a long way to go before machines actually 'think'. As of now, human engineers and programmers are just very good at making machines that *appear* to think (even to other scientists).

The process in which AI works is different than normal progammed behavior, but they they are still only capeable of operating within the designed parameters. (and in cases like this one, those parameters are designed to have the machine come up with a hypothesis on a give problem, and experiment with it, etc.. Basically, it seems to run a simulation of the scientific method).

Knowing what I do, I'm not too concerned about AI going crazy. What may *actually* go awry are the organic computers, which utilize biological cells as their processors. Granted, I dont know much about these computers, but... any living stucture has a chance to adapt, evolve, mutuate.
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