Adam the Robot makes scientific discovery

Well according to the latest issue of the journal Science Adam the Robot says so. Mind you he didn’t get there without some human help considering that humans had to design Adam in the first place. The thing is that unlike robots who are designed to perform repetitive tasks the scientists at Aberystwyth University in Wales and the U.K’s University of Cambridge designed Adam to take a more human approach to scientific inquiry. The idea being for him (it?) to carry scientific research automatically without human intervention.

It seems to be working because in the Science journal article it explains how Adam autonomously hypothesized that certain genes in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae code for enzymes that catalyze some of the microorganism’s biochemical reactions

The yeast is noteworthy, as scientists use it to model more complex life systems.

Adam then devised experiments to test its prediction, ran the experiments using laboratory robotics, interpreted the results, and used those findings to revise its original hypothesis and test it out further. The researchers used their own separate experiments to confirm that Adam’s hypotheses were both novel and correct–all the while probably wondering how soon they’d become obsolete.

“This is one of the first systems to get (artificial intelligence) to try and control laboratory automation,” Ross King, a professor of computer science who led the research at Aberystwyth University, told Live Science. Current robots, he noted, “tend to do one thing or a sequence of things. The complexity of Adam is that it has cycles.”

Source CNET

While I might worry about this whole Skynet this is pretty cool stuff.

[photo courtesy of Aberystwyth University]