Our Terminator future has just gotten one step closer with the news that a robot scientist has made its first discoveries without any human input whatsoever. And that its discoveries were genetic. Be very afraid.
Admittedly, you don't have to be too afraid; it was a discovery about new uses for genes in brewer's yeast, but that doesn't change the fact that the discovery came sans humanity, which is a rather unexpected milestone. The robotic scientist, called Adam, is the product of a joint effort by British schools Aberystwyth University and the University of Cambridge, and was actually created for this very purpose. One of its creators, Aberystwyth's Ross King, is excited about Adam's achievement:
It's certainly a contribution to knowledge. It would be publishable.
Displaying a disturbing lack of biblical knowledge and sense of bad-movie foreboding, the scientists at the universities plan to follow up Adam's success with a second robot called Eve, who will look for new drug discoveries. (Or discover some robotic apple from the tree of robot Eden that will lead to disaster.)
Robot scientist makes discoveries with no human help [New Scientist]