THERE could be more robots than humans on Earth by 2033, according to a leading futurologist.
Dr Ian Pearson says the risks of a robot takeover are very real, and that we’re only a few years away from robots having “genuine emotions”.
According to Dr Pearson, Earth’s robot population will grow to 9.4billion in the next 30 years, and will overtake humanity by the year 2048.
But it could happen even sooner.
“That will grow quickly in the foreseeable future, and by 2048 robots will overtake humans.
“If we allow for likely market acceleration, that could happen as early as 2033.
“By 2028, some of those robots will already be starting to feel genuine emotions and to respond to us emotionally,” he added.
And the survey, commissioned by Sky’s Now TV, found that six in ten Brits believe that “robots are a threat to the future of humanity”.
It also showed how more than half of us believe scientists won’t be able to control the rise of sentient robots.
Back in February, Dr Pearson told The Sun that robots may eventually “treat humans like guinea pigs”.
“We’ll have trained [artificial intelligence] to be like us, trained it to feel emotions like us, but it won’t be like us. It will be a bit like aliens off Star Trek – smarter and more calculated in its actions.
“It will be insensitive to humans, viewing us as barbaric. So when it decides to carry out its own experiments, with viruses that it’s created, it will treat us like guinea pigs.”
Here are the five main reasons why Brits are scared of robots:
- 43% fear robots will take control of society
- 37% worry that robots could become more intelligent than humans
- 34% are concerned that robots could reduce their chances of getting a new job
- 25% are scared that they won’t be able to tell robots and humans apart
- 16% think there’s a risk humans could one day have relationships with robots
But it’s entirely possible that humans will eventually become robots, rather than living at loggerheads with them.
In February, Dr Pearson told The Sun that humans are close to achieving “immortality” – the ability to never die – thanks to robot tech.
“There are quite a lot of people interested in living forever,” he explained.
There always has been, but the difference now is tech is improving so quickly, lots of people believe they can actually do it.”
He revealed that one way to extend life would be to use bio-technologies and medicine to “keep renewing the body, and rejuvenating it”.
“No one wants to live forever at 95 years old, but if you could rejuvenate the body to 29 or 30, you might want to do that.”
But rather than simply augmenting our bodies with machine parts, we’re more likely – so says Dr Pearson – to actually inhabit robot bodies with digital versions of our brains.
“A long time before we get to fix our bodies and rejuvenate it every time we feel like, we’ll be able to link our minds to the machine world so well, we’ll effectively be living in the cloud,” he told The Sun.
“The mind will basically be in the cloud, and be able to use any android that you feel like to inhabit the real world.”
He says that in 50 years time, we might be able to hire an android anywhere in the world “just like a hire car”, and upload your consciousness into it.
“If you wanted to spend the evening in Australia, going to the Sydney opera house, you could use an android.”