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That was a nice article. It happens a lot that science-fiction doesn't materialize. Yet there have also been scientific developments that nobody predicted. In physics, chemistry, biology and also computer-science. The lack of progress in robotics may very well related to this, as our world shifts more to a software one rather than a hardware one. With the decoding of DNA, even biology tends more towards software rather than hardware (or wet-ware if you like).

So rather than developing expensive but clumsy physical representations I foresee most of the advances will be in the virtual space. IBM's Watson that has been in the news so much lately is one good example. Once we have an AI the level of a baby, maybe robots will be ready to make baby-steps. But we can iron out the dangers of an erratically acting robot in the virtual space first.

We also still don't have flying cars. The Internet reduces the need for them greatly. By the time AIs reach the intelligence of a chimp they may be more useful as virtual agents than physical ones.

Mark Boon

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