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Intelligent machines expert heads for the hills

Utopia in the Highlands?

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A senior lecturer in Intelligent Autonomous Systems is conducting an experiment to see how, and if, humanity will survive once the oil runs out.

Dr Dylan Evans, formerly at the University of the West of England, is heading to the Highlands of Scotland for his Utopia project, where he will build a self-sufficient community within 18 months.

His scenario for the end of the world involves running out of oil rather than intelligent machines running amok, but the result will be much the same with starving citizens reduced to learning acoustic guitar and perhaps even talking to each other for entertainment.

He is currently looking for volunteers with practical survival skills - from fields as diverse as computer maintenance to jewellery making - to spend a few months living in Mongolian yurts on the Black Isle (ironically near where they used to build oil rigs).

Dr Evans goes to lengths to point out that this is not a reality TV project, and says the aim is to find out if self-sufficiency is possible - rather than being an attempt to live that way for an extended period of time.

"I don't want this to be seen as a bunch of nutters isolating themselves," he told the Ross-Shire Journal.

Far be it for us to suggest anything so controversial - just save us space in the yurt when the end comes. ®

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