The field of robotics is going through a renaissance thanks to advances in machine learning and sensor technology. Each generation of robot is engineered with greater mechanical complexity and smarter operating software than the last. But what if, instead of painstakingly designing and engineering a robot, you could just tear open a packet of primordial soup, toss it in the microwave on high for two minutes, and then grow your own ‘lifelike’ robot?
If you’re a Cornell research team, you’d grow a bunch and make them race.
The Planet of the Apes-style experiment involved putting human DNA into monkeys and managed to successfully increase their intelligence – a terrifying scenario just like the film.
The Chinese scientists have defended their research but it has been widely slammed as reckless, with some western scientists saying it violates ethical norms.
The experiment was called “nightmarish” and “dangerous” and the earlier cloning of monkeys in China has left the animals displaying signs of schizophrenia, some experts said.
Isobel Hutchinson, the Director of Animal Aid, told the Daily Star Online the “nightmarish new form of experimentation” could have “unintended and far-reaching consequences”.
The campaigner slammed the “distressing attempts to blur the lines between species” and insisted that all forms of scientific testing on animals is cruel and wrong.