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The Robot Apocalypse And 6 Other Terrifying Futuristic Technology Scenarios

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Robot Apocalypse

We’d like to welcome guest poster Amy Rose Lane to Popcorn Horror. Amy is blogger and writer from San Diego. Check out her Twitter for more info.

 

Let’s travel back in time to 1984. Apple just unveiled the Macintosh personal computer. The Internet wasn’t really a thing. In other news, a cyborg was thrown back through the space-time continuum to kill Sarah Connor, and with it came the first big case of the cyber-heebie-jeebies.

Doomsday style thriller The Terminator introduced a fear of technology to the masses, just as technology was beginning its rapid climb to where it is todayTo fear technology in 2015 is to be incapacitated. From drone warfare, to making coffee – robots walk among us.

If you think it’s only paranoid basement dweller types that fear the robot apocalypse, you’d be wrong.

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has gone on the record a few times to warn about the great robot takeover looming on the horizon.

Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, has even said that humanity will be reduced to robot pets in the future.

How else could we be trumped by technology? Read on…

 

Singularity

Ray Kurzweil is a renowned inventor and futurist, who is currently on the payroll of Google as the Director of Engineering. His predictions often come true. More specifically, he’s pretty accurate about when they come true. Among his top predictions were the fall of the Soviet Union by 1991 and a machine beating a human chess player by 2000. He also predicted WiFi, facial recognition software, eBooks, and nanotechnology.

So when Ray Kurzweil predicts that ‘Singularity’ may overthrow us, it’s best to listen up.

According to Kurzweil, by 2045, technology will be so advanced that it will eclipse human understanding. If robots start to think independently, where does that leave us? Up poop creek, according to Stephen Hawking.

“{Technology} would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.” he said.

Mathematician, Vernon Vinge was a bit more specific about the consequences the singularity could pose to humans. “The physical extinction of the human race is one possibility,” he wrote in a 1993 essay. No big deal then, Vinge?

 

Grey Goo

Grey goo. It doesn’t sound that scary. But it is! The term ‘grey goo’ was originally coined by molecular nanotechnology (itty bitty ‘bots) guru, Eric Drexler. He described tiny, atom sized robots that had the ability to self-replicate. They would be invented for good, say for example, cleaning up an oil spill. But what if a programming error caused them to malfunction? Instead of consuming oil, they, say, consumed everything in sight, and started replicating so fast that we couldn’t control them. Within a few days of grey goo on the loose, the world’s resources would have disappeared, us along with them. Drexler went on to describe grey goo in more detail:

“Dangerous replicators could easily be too tough, small, and rapidly spreading to stop — at least if we made no preparation. We have trouble enough controlling viruses and fruit flies.”

Boom. End of the world.

 

Transhumans

Transhumans are expected to arrive shortly after the Singularity. Techno Nostradameus, Ray Kurzweil, theorized that humans could well be half-cyborg by 2030.

If you think race relations are on the fritz now, wait until robots get involved. The physically and mentally superior cyborgs may well decide that traditional humans are the inferior race and either enslave them, or decide to wipe them out altogether. Resistance is futile.

 

The Large Hadron Collider Malfunction

The Large Hadron Collider is a big machine that looks pretty similar to the Stargate. Buried under the French-Swiss border, its purpose is to experiment with particles and discover more about them. This is done by firing atoms at each other at the speed of light. Scientists hope that the LHC could reveal vital clues about the origins of the Universe and what it’s made of.

One itty bitty problem. In the process, it’s theoretically possible that scientists could accidentally create, or open a black hole. Nobody knows exactly what it’s like to be sucked into a black hole, but with gravitational pressure that could squish a solar system into a pack of cards, it’s probably not good.

 

WWIII

Since the Atomic bomb came along, everybody has been eyeing the event of WWIII as the end of the human race. Currently there are 15,000 nuclear weapons on Earth, belonging to nine countries. Some of them are much more powerful than the one that detonated in Hiroshima. Needless to say, 15,000 nuclear warheads going off would be enough to cripple the human race, bring on a thermo-nuclear ice age and essentially end the world.

Scientists behind the Manhattan project designed the Doomsday Clock, designed to monitor how close humanity teeters to oblivion. Midnight is when everything goes kaboom. Currently we’re at 11:57pm. Time to dig a bunker and stockpile baked beans.

 

The Chimera Virus

If the nukes don’t do us in, the Chimera virus might. The idea is of two killer viruses mutated together by mad scientists. Like any weapon of mass destruction, if released, the chimera virus could wipe out all living creatures. Say we were to combine two deadly viral strands: ebola and the common cold. If ebola became as easy to contract as the common cold, not many people would be able to escape it.

 

Google

If you want to find a real world alternative to Skynet, look no further than Google. In the past few years, Google has purchased an impressive robot army. Almost every advanced robotics company has been bought by Google. This includes Boston Dynamics, responsible for building scary warbot Atlas, and DeepMind Technologies, who are creating a robot brain. Aside from that, the team of scientists hanging around Google’s offices are scary impressive. There’s Ray Kurzweil to start, and also Geoff Hinton, a leading expert on deep learning. Deep learning, the study of artificial intelligence. Look out, Apple. Google may have a terminator in a few years.

If we thought the worst side effect of technology was selfies, clearly we could be in for a rude awakening. How do you think technology will take over the world? And remember: If the apocalypse comes, tweet me.

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