Now might be a good time to start stocking up on EMPs.

Roboticists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute claim they have developed a robot that has passed a self awareness test known as the “wise men puzzle.”

The test involved three robots, two of which had been silenced. All three were then asked which robot was still able to talk. The robot who was not silenced answered “I don’t know,” and after hearing its own voice, quickly responded, “Sorry, I know now.”

It might sound a pretty simple task for a human, but it’s not for a robot - the bot must listen to and understand the question, then hear their own voice saying “I don’t know” and recognize it as distinct from another robot’s voice, then connect that with the original question to conclude that they hadn’t been silenced.

Logical puzzles requiring an element of self-awareness like this are essential in building robots that can understand their role in society. By passing many tests of this type, it’s hoped that robots will be able to build up a group of human-like abilities that become useful when combined.

It’s worth noting that the two robots that were silenced are identical to the robot that passed the test. Therefore, they are probably able to pass the self-awareness test as well. So if you’re ever forced to go back in time to save humanity, please remember to destroy all three.

(Source: Tech Radar)