And I for one..
..welcome our new cat-brained overlords.
Pentagon boffinry chiefs are on the verge of inking a deal which could see US forces equipped with "neuromorphic" imitation brain modules, each potentially as intelligent as a cat. Wired magazine reports that HRL Labs of Malibu initially announced a firm deal on the feline-grade artibrain contract, referred to by the US …
The pan-dimensional variety.
Replicating the capacity of a cat brain is quite a tall order. They're on the upper end of the Brain to body size ratio and are the only animal to successfully domesticate large potions of humanity. (As opposed to dogs which are domesticated by humanity)
...appear to extend to chasing his own tail, clawing the sofa, "friendly scratch" incidents and occasionally bringing in live rodents, which he promptly loses and then spends the next week looking for disconsolately (cf. operations around Tora Bora - where in the world IS Osama Bin Laden...?). While that'd dovetail nicely with the Great War On Terror so far, surely they want to aim for something a LITTLE better...?
Mine's zer mad scientist in der veelchair mit zer uncontrollable hand....
Surely there is some mistake! This is most definitely the beginning of the end (or is it the end of the beginning?).
Are we to be pounced upon by monstrous feline battle-bots, tossed in the air like playthings before expiring in pain and horror? Do DARPA not understand that cats are not controllable and learn other than what they are taught?
Visualize 50-tonne tanks with cat-like treads.
Are there any neuroscientists actually connected to this process?
I doubt it, for the very simple reason that there is no such thing as cat-level-intelligence in opposition to mouse-level: yes, brute number of brain cells differs, but encephalisation quotient is roughly the same. So built one and you basically have the other. Now, fruitfly-level or parasitoid-wasp-level (those that were the model for Alien --- a nightmare if you're a fruitfly) that would make sense.
I think if I built a cat-based platform, I'd just put a big frikkin' laser on it --- no point jumping over fences, or hunting mice: just fry 'em; a pursuing dog? Not for long!
Bullmoose-size-laser-equipped also has its attractions, but you know it's gonna go haywire at some point (probably because it's WEP-controlled). Next step: MetalGearRex.
I'm afraid of the implications of using cats as the model for anything - much less something that is "as intelligent as a cat".
The moggy that lives in my house is completely insane - he constantly sees things that aren't there, is prone to attack at any time, for no apparent reason, and if he's angry he pisses and shits on my pillow.
Does this mean that false-positive enemy identification and friendly-fire incidents will increase? Will GI Joe will shit on the pillows if his old lady won't give him the attention he desires? Will he starve because he doesn't like the new food the commissary is serving?
Does this mean that GI Jane will be incredibly promiscuous and cause distention in the ranks?
I can't see anything good coming from this.
Is a mouse really that much more daft than a cat? At least trying to develop a cat gives them a lot more space to work with.
Perhaps they should set their sights a bit lower to begin with. Start with trying to emulate a fly or bee. They're able to to fly, land, evade attack, seek out food and navigate.
Herding cats. Many have tried, none succeeded!
Last night on our Late Night talk show (The Tonight Show), the host mentioned that there was a cat with 4 ears born. Then mentioned that it doesn't make any difference, no cat obeys any commands a human gives them, and with four ears, they can ignore you at twice the rate.
On the other hand, they make great lap warmers while pecking at the keyboard.
They already tried to turn a housecat into a spy. It was implanted with bugs and brain control circuitry at a cost of about 4 million dollars. When it had been fully healed up and trained, they let it out onto the street, pointed it at the Russian Embassy, and gave it a burst on the pleasure centre probe. The Four Million Dollar Cat bounded off towards its objective, straight under the wheels of a mail van. Another partial success!
A similar idea is presented in the webcomic "Girl Genius". Krosp, engineered to be the King of Cats, has all the leadership abilities necessary to organise a fifth column of cats. Unfortunately, the dumb cats don't have the intelligence or disposition to join or be organised into a fifth column.
The difference between man & cat is very small on the scale of potential "IQ's".
If this thing works it can recursively self improve: you get a cat-brain in a box with an IQ in the low thousands within a few hundred iterations - i,e, some miliseconds after switching the bugger on.
Wasn't SyNAPSE the bad-guy's ultimate tool for world-domination?
open source FTW :)
oh and one other thing - my cat is totally convinced that it already OWNS the world, and everyone in it, to the extent that he doesn't even need to convince anyone else.
Is it really a good idea to use that as a basis for evil army AI cat-brained killing thingies?
...a marine, in the middle east, sitting outside an APC with a tin of Whiskas going
"Heeeere kitty kitty kitty"
And a tank oversteering round the corner and nuzzling up to him with it's turret.
Because that's about the only way any of my cats have ever succumber to orders - otherwise they were a law unto themselves all the time...
@ Herby: "Herding cats. Many have tried, none succeeded!"
Not so - I do it whenever I find it necessary to amass a veritable Feline Battalion to force my point upon the world by Resolute Means(tm). The means of leading large numbers of cats at will is as follows:
1) Lead from 'Way Out Front instead of (as is most common in Whiteman-Land) from the rear.
2) Soft Cat Food. Anything from Mixed Grill on through Seafood Surprise will likely do. The battle cry, of course, is a hearty "Heeeere, Kittykittykitty! M'YOW! M'YOU!".
But there is a caveat to being a Top Cat Monkey-General of the Feline Planetary Occupation Forces: Best have enuf Soft Cat Food to go around, or you are next. Case in point's that fine black-coated cat o' mine who's just now back on the dinner table for the nineteenth time: Natural Law. (There goes the butter dish!) Even the big-hearted and well-beloved Reverend General Butt-Naked of Moggadishu knows about that sort of thing.
"Even"? Hmph. <ACK!> (Pfff-ff-ttt!)
Anywho, the Darker Regions just might have won out from the get-go on this one. The Republic of Haiti, for example, has (by rumour) allegedly possessed this manner of bio-Boolean weaponry for /quite/ some time now. Ole Miz Lucy's spied out the recipe and logic hookup for the basic carbon-based mobile /cadavre/ unit back in '04, so who knows how long the melanin-impoverished nations of this world have been Blissfully Unaware(tm) of this shadow-lurking Terrorwar Bio-Boolean Threatdown banging about in uttter illlegalized Freedom(tm) off our very shores?
It's documented in plain English right here, for those who ain't yet in on it:
The Boffin, 'cause these Hidden Truths have always stood in utter natural harmony with the very thing that all manner of Gummint-Gone-Awry always has pitted itself futilely tho' fiercely against, time after time, caring nothing for the Repeating History Factor of it all. (Let a well-motivated full division of Badgers living and undead alike be loosed on 'em all from an Undisclosed Location should our long-standing negotiations toward full genuine Liberty ever be traitiorously thwarted!) You'll know when it's on by the www.badgerbadgerbadger.com battle cry: "Mushroom Mushroom!"
As for cats: I say no more.
The right mini-sized fuel cell and a wee high-pressure canister of Hydrogen's just the ticket for those Long Waddle-Marches Toward Total Victory, btw. The whole rig mounts up in the belly cavity just fine. (Use carpet thread in the sewing-up for best results.)
The lab coat, of course. Thank'ee.
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