Recently the Singularity Summit was held in San Francisco and it was attended by record number of people.
I had been reading quite a lot on the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence recently. The singularity institue exists to confront the new world of Artificial Intelligence, both the opportunity and the risk. I have been interested in this field since 2003, when i took a module on AI in my Computer Science degree and thus have my own views to share.
Do you think the machines can take over mankind someday? - Well currently i cant imagine something like that. However i can imagine computers taking over most of our jobs. People worry about competing for jobs with people from Mexico or from China, but what about competing with computers for jobs? People will be friends with robots who tend to understand them better than other humans!!! It will be robots who will make decisions as to when are we supposed to sleep, when are we supposed to eat and what are we supposed to like. Now that seems scary right. I think in 20 -25 years time we might also have the first Human-Robot relationship(partners/marriage). In short, robots will be good enough to replace humans for almost everything.
Robots are already to the level of rather dumb/stupid pets. Given moore's law, they will be to the level of smart pets within three to five years... That much is just simple exploitation of systems that have already been developed... This is such deep stuff, and there is so much of it that it will really take a human+ intelligence to fully use the data that we have now, much less the data that we will generate before we are able to create that human+ intelligence.