06 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 A Worm's Mind in a Lego Robot Body

The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is tiny and only has 302 neurons. These have been completely mapped and the OpenWorm project is working to build a complete simulation of the worm in software. One of the founders of the OpenWorm project, Timothy Busbice, has taken the connectome and implemented an object oriented neuron program. The model is accurate in its connections and makes use of UDP packets to fire neurons. If two neurons have three synaptic connections then when ...
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08 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Case for Robotic Space Exploration

In a dispassionate comparison of the relative values of human and robotic spaceflight, the only surviving motivation for continuing human spaceflight is the ideology of adventure. But only a tiny number of Earth's six billion inhabitants are direct participants. For the rest of us, the adventure is vicarious and akin to that of watching a science fiction movie. At the end of the day, I ask myself whether the huge national commitment of technical talent to human spaceflight and the ever-presen...
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Only a tiny percentage of Earthlings get to go into space, for the rest of us it's a vicarious experience.

28 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The Zeroeth Law of Robotics

"Just before Giskard's end, he conceived of a robotic law that superseded even the first. We called it the 'Zeroth Law' out of an inability to think of any other name that made sense. The Zeroth Law is: `A robot may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.' This automatically means that the First Law must be modified to be: 'A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would conflict with th...
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A robot may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.