- Jun 12, 2007
LONDON — Watch out scientists — you may be replaced by a robot.
Two teams of researchers said on Thursday they had created machines that could reason, formulate theories and discover scientific knowledge on their own, marking a major advance in the field of artificial intelligence.
Such robo-scientists could be put to work unraveling complex biological systems, designing new drugs, modeling the world's climate or understanding the cosmos.
For the moment, though, they are performing more humble tasks.
At Aberystwyth University in Wales, Ross King and colleagues have created a robot called Adam that can not only carry out experiments on yeast metabolism but also reason about the results and plan the next experiment.
It is the world's first example of a machine that has made an independent scientific discovery — in this case, new facts about the genetic make-up of baker's yeast.