Is Google X All About Highly Intelligent Robots?

    December 5, 2011
    Josh Wolford

UPDATE: The thread still exists as do the comments, but the original post has been removed. The post was up for less than two hours. It also appears to be unable to be found via search on reddit.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Remember that report a couple of weeks back about Google X – the highly secretive experimental development arm of Google? According to sources, Google X is a “top secret lab in an undisclosed Bay Area location” that is working on tons of awesome/frightening stuff. You know, robots and such.

Well, there’s a guy that has made a top post on reddit who claims he has direct knowledge of the things taking place at Google X. And apparently, we’re all screwed.

That’s because the main focus of the project is super-intelligent robots that are virtually indistinguishable from humans when it comes to conversation and situational reactions. Here’s what user J32PMXR has to say about Google X [Turing test link added for clarification] :

This is in total violation of the NDA, but I don’t care anymore. Sue me.

The central focus of Google X for the past few years has been a highly advanced artificial intelligence robot that leverages the underlying technology of many popular Google programs. As of October (the last time I was around the project), the artificial intelligence had passed the Turing Test 93% of the time via an hour long IM style conversation. IM was chosen to isolate the AI from the speech synthesizer and physical packaging of the robot.

According to [some guy on reddit], the mechanics of the robot are not very impressive – no spider bots or anything – but that’s because it wasn’t really the focus. The redditor says that he had contact with the robot, and it’s “the most amazing thing [he’s] ever seen.” It’s apparently incredibly smart, and interacts in ways that are uncannily human-like.

The redditor is currently answering questions posted to his thread, and is revealing the story a little by little.

I was unfairly terminated along with quite a few of my coworkers. It was a small enough group that they will probably figure out who I am, but like I said, I don’t care.

I’m not going to answer all of the questions, but for #6, our AI is practically like talking to a human. Siri can give you information, but we can give you conversation. We can also go full genius mode which essentially gives you the sum of internet knowledge via conversation.

It can do objects by using an advanced version of the Google Goggles software. It also has a suite of basically every sensor that could be put on it; optical, laser, infrared, ultrasonic, depth cameras, etc.

It needs an internet connection. Last I heard, it was using an average of only a couple hundred kilobytes per second. Most of the processing is done onboard, internet is used for external information.

Of course, there is absolutely no proof that this person is legit. As one commenter puts it, “There is no font bold enough for the [Citation Needed] this post requires.” But his account of what’s going on at Google X falls in line with other previous rumors. If this guy’s for real, it looks like we need to begin bracing ourselves for the end, folks. Because once they put this super-smart robot software into one of those giant spiders…I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.