The idea of a robot coup d'etat is based on the sci-fi notion of "technological singularity" -- the point where machines become powerful enough to improve their own instruction sets and capabilities without human intervention, leading to a runaway chain of self-upgrades that surpasses human comprehension. Smart machines like IBM's Watson supercomputer aren't the product of some magical breakthrough, but of a lot of separate research efforts that solved individual problems. The rapidly advancing power of microchips means that machines with far fewer chips will be able to perform Watson-like feats. Smart machines are already designing the chips that are paving the way for ever smarter machines.
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