Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Self-Replicating Robots Announced on Earth Day 2009

On Earth Day, 2009, scientists announce self-replicating robots. These self-replicating robots have the capability of taking materials from their environments and efficiently incorporating those materials into their structures. In addition to using the environmental materials for their own maintenance, they are even able to use the environmental elements to create even more of themselves.

They are, in fact, so efficient at using environmental materials to increase their numbers that they, in every case, use up all the materials in their environments, at which time they cease to be able to replicate.

This is due to a serious robotic programming "issue", and the scientists have not yet determined a method of programming the robots to exercise what would be called, in human terms, "self-control". They would like the programming to incorporate a feedback loop so that the robots would reduce their rate of replication so that the resources available to them would continue indefinitely. Unfortunately, given the difficulties of programming such an effective "self-control" algorithm, no schedule for completion has yet been announced.

Scientist have given these self-replicating robots several names, depending on the model, including Catholics, Mormons, Southern Baptists, Muslims, Hindus...