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DARPA Wants to Build Conscious Robots Using Insect Brains

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posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 12:26 PM
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In case there are those who don't know, DARPA is The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and is part of the United States Department of Defense responsible for developing high tech that the military can use. This story seems like it came from the pages of a Sci Fi novel. DARPA is interested in developing a "platform that uses the insect brain architecture to create more capable AI hardware.” It will award a one million dollar contract to the first company that is able to "complete a feasibility study on mapping an insect’s central intelligence system."


The Pentagon’s emerging technologies unit put out a call last week for proposals that use insect brains to control robots — because they could be used to create efficient new models for artificial intelligence, but also because they could be used to explore the meaning of consciousness.



DARPA is offering $1 million to the company it awards the insect brain proposal to. First the winning bidder will need to complete a feasibility study on mapping an insect’s central intelligence system. Then it will need to create a “proof of concept” platform that uses the insect brain architecture to create “more capable AI hardware.”

futurism.com...

Seems like an insect brain may unlock the potential (and dangers) of AI technology one day. The human brain has "86 billion neurons and 100 trillion synaptic connections," so maybe it would be more feasible to map the brain of an ant.


Two hard problems lie at the heart of brain decoding research; namely, what is the basic wiring logic of the brain? And what is the basic operational rule for representing real-time information? With 86 billion neurons and 100 trillion synaptic connections in the human brain, it is conceivable that the understanding of the brain's basic wiring logic is the foundation upon which dynamic coding of cognitive information can be meaningfully executed

www.frontiersin.org...

Can you imagine a bunch of military robots controlled by the neural codes obtained from the brains of ants? Brains, that Charles Darwin called, "One of the most marvelous atoms of matter in the world."




posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: shawmanfromny

What could possibly go wrong.




posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: shawmanfromny

Fire ants mixed with AI or killer bees, sounds like a scary scary thing.




posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 12:54 PM
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originally posted by: purplemer
a reply to: shawmanfromny

What could possibly go wrong.



Robot hives in our attics....

Look on the bright side, we can take some of their honey if they don't kill us.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: shawmanfromny

Far as i can determine, consciousness, still is not something we can manifest at will, or at all, even in insect brains or by using them to do so by way of emulation.

Then again they are DARPA so if anyone can do it i imagine its that mob right there.
edit on 14-1-2019 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 01:09 PM
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a reply to: andy06shake

It's already been done....




Hahaha.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 01:10 PM
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Oh great. When I go anywhere there will be robots circling around me all the time. As long as they do not give them stingers I am fine with it. But it's DARPA...of course the robots will have stingers and they will go all over giving anyone they encounter a vaccination for something.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 01:19 PM
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Fire ants are militant evil Jihadist without reward, so just imagine if they are given positive reinforcement for their evil deeds.
This is a terrible terrifying idea.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 01:23 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

That's amazing.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 01:29 PM
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a reply to: shawmanfromny

So....they want someone to invent the borg??



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: CriticalStinker

Looks like a cooked up form of the old Xbox Kinect and an RC toy car, to be honest. LoL

I'm sure we can achieve far greater than that at the likes of DARPA.
edit on 14-1-2019 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 02:18 PM
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a reply to: shawmanfromny

I don't really understand what they are thinking of here. I've seen video of swarms of tiny robot drones that use AI to keep from flying into each other and fly where they are directed to go. Since this already exists, Darpa must be considering something beyond that.

Swarming Drones
2:52



They have the hardware, they need the brain.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 02:42 PM
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a reply to: toms54

Yeah, exactly and that's whats so disturbing. They want to solve the riddle of consciousness by implementing an insect brain into a robot with an advanced computer CPU, all in the hope of being able to control it and have it do their bidding. The question is, what if down the road, the AI robot develops a mind of it's own and realizes that humans are inferior to them?

edit on 1/14/2019 by shawmanfromny because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 02:47 PM
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Well, that's interesting, but it's certainly not going to help us avoid certain destruction and doom.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 03:54 PM
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This seems awesome on the surface, but it's an absolute Pandora's box. We could do amazing things with this technology, but we'd also be opening the door to untold horrors and suffering. Imagine being born with no arms or legs, even deaf and unable to speak as well - your life would probably be miserable, but at least you'd know you'd eventually die and be freed from your condition. Now imagine you have that same consciousness, except this time you're not biological, you're trapped inside a machine and your existence has no foreseeable end. The only thing you're able to do is whatever menial task you were put into the machine to do - for all time, as far as you know.

I would hope any research of this sort would involve only creating a synthetic brain tailored to whatever specific machine it's made for, as opposed to actually putting the brain of a biological thing into a machine. For example, if you wanted to create a brain for a robotic arm that moves boxes from point A to point B, don't give it the ability to contemplate its existence and realize that it's just a robotic arm that exists to move boxes from point A to point B for all eternity. That right there is an absolute nightmare scenario waiting to happen. If we can find a way for machines to learn and think, great, so long as we aren't trapping a consciousness inside an existence that would drive it to insanity.

Now, as for creating superhuman AI androids - please do. I want to see us develop and perfect AI into something that can grow and improve dynamically, becoming ever more intelligent on its own. I just don't want to get there by building human or animal brains for the purpose of inhabiting some robot or piece of machinery, even if it's just an ant or a bee.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 04:02 PM
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1 million dollars seems like a low amount. If it could change everything about killer robot ability then I would have put the prize up to 10 million at least.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 04:39 PM
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a reply to: shawmanfromny

I am not even sure that insects actually think. They seem to be robots themselves. No one teaches them, they don't learn, they just instinctively know what to do through some kind of preprogramming.

And this is not limited to the insect world. Some mammals can build very complex nest never having seen one before. Yet they all know how to do it somehow.

I just keep thinking about that ant video. Thanks for the nightmares JAGStorm.

I saw another robot swarm video where they all had facial recognition and shaped explosive charges. The video showed how they could be sent out to assassinate people. Some AI professor from Berkley came on and said we had the tech today but I didn't know if it was just possible or if someone was actually doing this now.
edit on 14-1-2019 by toms54 because: spelling



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: shawmanfromny

Interesting. The first things the mad scientists at
Darpa should be informed of is that insects have multiple
"brains". There is the "head" brain that controls/interprets
the functions of the eyes,antennae,and mouth parts.
The other brains are Ganglion which are incorporated into
the thorax/abdomen junction. If I remember correctly there is one Ganglion
for each set of legs and wings. Insects only have 6 legs, so there
would be 3 Ganglion. I cannot remember offhand if there is
an additional Ganglion for each pair of wings (in the case
of flying insects).
So, do they want a computer to control insects, or an insect like
computer?
Sprinkle a little smart dust on top with a pixie stick.
Sometimes I fear that this tech could eventually lead to
Humankinds' undoing. S&F



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 06:59 PM
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originally posted by: dug88
a reply to: shawmanfromny

So....they want someone to invent the borg??

Insectoid aliens, coming back from the future to mess with us.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 07:57 PM
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a reply to: Wildmanimal


The biomass of insects
exceeds any other life
forms on the surface
of the Earth.

Animals sense and react to
the environment, ani which
is the root for animated,
means that the lifeform
that is an animal is in
constant motion and
physical change.

There may be a million insect
neuron's and in a sea slug, 80
thousand neurons. It learns by
change and react.

I suppose if a lower form
had a big brain and a lot
of neurons, it could be as
intelligent as us. Because
consciousness of a simple
way seems to exist in every
animal, even if just to react
to their environment.




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