Philosofiction

Steve Bein, writer & philosopher

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Robot overlords?

Are you worried that robots will take over the world and kill us all? If so, you may not be a total whackjob. Or even if you are a whackjob, you might still find a job at Cambridge. Yes, one of the top universities on the planet now maintains a Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, dedicated to keeping an eye on potentially dangerous technology.

Obviously the sci-fi fan in me is fascinated. The writer in me has a different fascination: namely, what decisions go into crafting headlines for a story like this? Some media outlets were pretty level-headed about it. Others were, well, not. Here’s how
MSN describes three scholars opening an obscure think tank: “Robot overlords wiping out the human race may become reality.”