[extropy-chat] grand challenge - good blog

Brian Atkins brian at posthuman.com
Sat Oct 8 19:24:07 UTC 2005

"Stanford's Stanley has caught up to Red Team Too's H1ghlander and is attempting 
to pass and take the lead in the race. Both vehicles have been on the road for 
about 5 hours and are 97 miles into the course."


"Darpa's offer to bring busloads of journalists to a vantage point near the 
course's halfway mark was a generous one, but unfortunately, the execution's a 
little off. Flummoxed by the sameness of Nevada desert roads, our driver gets 
hopelessly lost and has to resort to borrowing a cell phone from a passenger in 
the front row to call for help. "Too bad we don't have autonomous drivers 
already," a German journalist sitting across from me cracks. Thankfully, a 
nearby Darpa checkpoint officer sets us straight, and we're soon pulling into a 
deserted lot staked out with dozens of tripods."

"Just as we're leaving the site, we catch another glimpse of H1ghlander from the 
window of the bus, this time chugging up a steep, powdery incline. Halfway up 
the hill, it slides agonizingly backward for about 10 feet, then, inch by inch, 
crawls forward to the top, as if channeling the spirit of the Little Engine That 
Could. This time, I can't resist letting out a little cheer. These competitors 
may be robots, but they've got some serious guts."
Brian Atkins
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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