1.en.3 Technology: robots

Let me introduce you to American physicist, Dr. Michio Kaku. Dr. Kaku works in the field of theoretical physics, just as Einstein, and he has devoted much of his time to think about how things will be different for us in the future. If you’re interested you can visit his website:

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Well, today we are only going to explore some of Dr. Kaku’s ideas. He’s been considering about the possibility of developing robots to a point in which they could get ideas about killing humans. Well, let’s hope this will never happen. Indeed, he mentions the Three Laws of Robotics which were devised  in 1942 by a famous science-fiction author. These laws would prevent any robot from doing harm to a human.

a. Who was this writer?

b. One of his stories was made into a film in 2004 with Will Smith in it. What film was it?

c. Try to complete the Three Laws:

  1. A robot may not ………………………… a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to ………………………….
  2. A robot must ………………………… the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would …………………………with the First Law.
  3. A robot must ………………………… its own existence as long as such protection does not …………………………with the First or Second Laws.

Nevertheless, it seems that things could get a bit dangerous according to Dr. Kaku, so we better do something to keep safe. Now, watch the following video in which Dr. Kaku shares his ideas about the possibility of robots killing humans and answer the questions below:

Say whether these are True or False (and don’t forget to provide evidence from the clip)

a) The reported asked the experts gathered at the conference about the possibility of robots beings as intelligent as humans.

b) The experts gave quite different answers.

c) Nowadays, computers triple their power every 18 months.

d) Silicon is the best material for chips as it is stable at high temperatures.

e) Substitutes for silicon, such as DNA or protein chips will be in use in the next decades.

f) Computer machines are as intelligent as dogs now.

g) if computer machines were as intelligent as monkeys, we could be in danger.

h) Dr. Kaku thinks a possible solution to murderous robots would be to use defective circuits.

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