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2013's Biggest Tech Moments


7
Robot Overlords and AI Nannies
Boston Dynamics' 'Cheetah' robot pictured here held the title of the world's fastest robot with legs with a record of more than 29 mph (47 kph). WildCat, which underwent tests in 2013, is the next-generation Cheetah robot. © Boston Dynamics/dpa/Corbis
Boston Dynamics' 'Cheetah' robot pictured here held the title of the world's fastest robot with legs with a record of more than 29 mph (47 kph). WildCat, which underwent tests in 2013, is the next-generation Cheetah robot. © Boston Dynamics/dpa/Corbis

With robot development proceeding apace and Asimov's three laws of robotics nowhere in sight, how long before our "servants" round us up "for our own good"? We give it a year.

OK, so maybe adorable ASIMO doesn't make your blood run cold, but that's only because he can't chase you down like Boston Dynamics' WildCat robot [sources: Netburn; University of Bristol]. Meanwhile, artificial intelligences plot to take over your life. The Moto X cell phone learns your patterns and schedule and takes actions on its own, such as limiting which calls ring through at certain hours or reading texts to you when it detects that you are driving [source: Motorola]. The Canary home security system uses your habits -- derived from a camera, infrared motion sensor and a microphone -- to distinguish you and your pets from possible intruders [source: Canary Home Security].

Various wearable monitors and screens marketed for fitness and checking e-mails may one day connect us to our gadgets, enabling them to predict our needs or even to lock our transmissions when we seem too tired or wired to drive [source: Popular Science].


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