- Xenobots, the world’s first “living robots” can now reproduce, scientists say.
- “I was astounded by it,” said Michael Levin, a professor of biology and director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University.
- Xenobots are just the latest example of humanity pushing the limits of artificial intelligence.
I’m a movie guy. So much so that I’ve built a career around it, as pop culture is largely what I cover here at BroBible. And as a movie guy, I am quite well-versed in the perils and dangers of artificial intelligence thanks to classics and modern takes alike, such as The Terminator, Blade Runner, Ex Machina, Westworld, I, Robot, and so on and so forth.
And you know what all of those projects have in common? They’re trying to warn us — humanity — that we need to be extremely, *extremely* careful when it comes to creating a lifeform that’s more intelligent than our own. You know who apparently hasn’t gotten that message, though? Scientists!
Every couple of months, whether it be the freaks up as Boston Dynamics creating dancing robots or stories like this one, we come across disturbing news that shows just how far artificial intelligence is coming.
Formed from the stem cells of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) from which it takes its name, xenobots are less than a millimeter (0.04 inches) wide. The tiny blobs were first unveiled in 2020 after experiments showed that they could move, work together in groups and self-heal.
Now the scientists that developed them at the University of Vermont, Tufts University and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering said they have discovered an entirely new form of biological reproduction different from any animal or plant known to science. [via CNN]
The CNN reports also states that “while the prospect of self-replicating biotechnology could spark concern,” the researchers overseeing the program have said that the living machines were “entirely contained in a lab and easily extinguished, as they are biodegradable and regulated by ethics experts.” Hey, at least they know how disturbing it sounds.
The name xenobots is terrifying in and of itself, as it sounds like something straight out of an Alien movie. Can’t we name the horrifying reproducing robots something a little more, I don’t know, less aggressive. Robotic Beanie Babies! Or something like that.