Space Exploration/Von Neumann self replicating machines
I am well aware that human spaceflight is fraught with difficulty unless major improvements in technology speed up spaceflight etc. What I am guessing, though, is that current technology could already create self-replicating machines which could form a lunar colony over time, in advance of human habitation on the Moon. OK, I suppose machines formed via nanotechnology are not a possibility for a very long time yet, but simple machines could presumably create more machines on the Moon, with help from messages from Earth. Given the current presence of US drone airplanes, I don't see a problem with automated factories producing remote-controlled or self-running bulldozers on the Moon, say. What is your take re this guess and, where can I find decent info on actual research on self-replicating machines, as opposed to just theory?
it was recently confirmed that the thought that robots could takeover mankind was real sparking off risk studies! http://www.idigitaltimes.com/articles/13075/20121127/robot-uprising-wipe-out-man
Robots today need programming though by humans. One could build a robot that builds robots but the material must be available unless the builder-robot sends out other robots to collect material like plastic, metals or rare elements. On the moon these must first be found and mined! Such a factory would not suddenly find itself on the moon, it would need to be built by man, similar to the robotic production lines that make cars.
Scientists are trying to get robots to think for themselves but in effect are programming the robots to detect situations and choose between preprogrammed commands.
A self-thinking robot in the horror scenario you describe would be a robot that randomly constructs robots all the time and measures the life of the young robots. The longest surviving robot is taken as a basis for further random modifications until the life is expanded and so on. This process would take millions of years until something decent was produced but is in fact similar to how the creator got life on Earth going (with a bit of helping hand here and there!)
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