Hello, Robotic Overlords: Intel's Making Tech That Learns And Adapts To Your Habits

Brad Chacos

When web surfers aren't busy calling each other Nazis on forums, they're often cracking jokes about greeting their future robotic overlords with open arms. It won't be funny forever; the groundwork for our eventual demise is already being laid by the best minds in the land. IBM announced that it had created prototype cognitive chips modeled after the human brain almost a year ago, and today, Reuters reported that Intel is launching a research project in Israel dedicated to creating smart tech that can learn the habits of its users. (That way, SkyNet will know the best time to strike.)

Until that dark day, the machine learning tech being developed by the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence (with help from Technion and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem) will work to serve man by helping him remember his car keys. No, seriously -- that was the example Intel used. If the smart tech's owner has a habit of leaving his keys in his house, Intel wants devices to learn to to remember where the keys are located and eventually even remind its owner to snag 'em on the way out the door. Intel expects its smart devices to become available in 2014 or 2015.

"All of these devices will come to know us as individuals, will very much tailor themselves to us," Intel CTO Justin Rattner told reporters. Actually, that sounds pretty decent when Rattner puts things that way… but then the president of Intel's Israeli arm, Moody Eden, added this terrifying tidbit:

"Within five years all of the human senses will be in computers and in 10 years we will have more transistors in one chip than neurons in the human brain."

Great, teach the robots to learn our ways, then give them human senses, then make them smarter than us. Just which side are you working for, Intel? Maybe the apocalypse will roll out of Jerusalem after all.

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