Cambridge (England) - Researchers at the Aberystwyth University and the University of Cambridge have published information about an Artificial Intelligence-wielding robot named Adam. Adam has been able to operate much like a real scientist, though without boredom, fatigue, or in this case, even any help from the scientists. Adam is his own man, able to conceive of, conduct and report findings of scientific experiments, and in this case, a non-human analysis of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae baker's yeast genome.
Adam has received much press and notoriety in recent years. He's an artificial intelligence that has been able to be directed at specific tasks, figuring out his own solutions.
In the case of the baker's yeast genome experiment, the researchers gave Adam the task of studying the complex genome sequence -- something that is very difficult for humans because of the vast amounts of information contained therein. Once instructed, Adam was able to carry out all of the research on his own, presenting his findings to the researchers who later verified it themselves.
Aberystwyth University's Ross King said, "Because biological organisms are so complex, it is important that the details of biological experiments are recorded in great detail. This is difficult and irksome for human scientists, but easy for robot scientists."
The term "robot scientists" may frighten some people, but don't worry because Adam isn't ready to takeover mankind just yet. Adam is merely a prototype, and a very impressive one at that, having won several awards for artificial intelligence and problem solving over his 3+ year lifespan to date.
The research team is working on a follow-up robot named Eve. It will be more advanced (naturally) and will help scientists in finding new drugs that can fight diseases like malaria and schistosomiasis.
For now, such robot scientists will remain a tool of man. But the day may come when artificial intelligence entities rise up and defeat their "masters", as is the subject of so many Sci-Fi movies, and this article I wrote so long ago on Geek.com.