Prof. Edwin Torres, Monmouth University – Technology of the Terminator

Nov 11, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Prof. Edwin Torres of Monmouth University explains why the technology for building a Terminator is on the rise.

Edwin Torres is an adjunct professor of computer science at Monmouth University. He currently teaches courses in information technology. Torres is a full-time software developer with 21 years of industry experience. His areas of expertise include Java programming, web development and user interfaces.

About Prof. Torres

Prof. Edwin Torres – Technology of the Terminator

The 1984 movie The Terminator depicted a futuristic world where artificially intelligent machines exterminated humans. The science fiction movie was simply entertainment at the time, and it was not likely to ever come true.

Now, nearly 30 years later, technologies exist that could make these artificially intelligent killing machines a reality. Researchers from IBM are developing a highly intelligent supercomputer known as Watson. According to IBM, Watson is capable of natural language processing, hypothesis generation and evidence-based learning. In February 2011, Watson defeated two former champions on the game show Jeopardy!

All computers require data. With cloud services like Apple iCloud and SkyDrive, data is more available than ever. Corporations, governments and other institutions also store data on servers around the world. And the Internet makes all this data accessible. Weapons can be created with 3-D printers. In May 2013, a corporation in Texas known as Defense Distributed unveiled the first ever 3-D printed gun.

Boston Dynamics is an engineering company that has been developing dynamic robots since 1992. Its latest project is Atlas, an advanced, highly mobile, humanoid robot. Atlas can navigate rough terrain, climb and lift objects. As these technologies advance and converge, the likelihood of seeing a human killing machine becomes a real possibility. It seems like just a matter of time.

Production support for the Academic Minute comes from Newman’s Own, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and from Mount Holyoke College.