We're as hopeful about the future as anyone. Sure, we fear robots
, but we're bound to have at least a few years of peaceful co-existence before they grow weary of our human insolence and irrational buffoonery. Claude Sammut, professor of computer science at New South Wales University in Australia (and RoboCup
regular), believes that robots will surpass the abilities of professional human footballers (aka, soccer players) by 2050. For this to happen, he says that the field will require "major advances in perception, decision making, learning, and co-operative behaviours." Of course, looking at the current field of RoboCup contestants or even around the house at the TV (largely unchanged since 1930), telephone (patented in 1876), and iPod (now 9 years old), it's hard to imagine technology advancing that fast. That is, until the rate of technological change accelerates so fast that we achieve singularity
sometime in 2030 or 2050, depending upon who you ask.