Researchers at a British university are to assess whether technology could end up destroying human civilisation.
The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University will study dangers posed by biotechnology, artificial life, nanotechnology and climate change, the BBC reports.
The scientists say to dismiss concerns of a potential robot uprising would be dangerous.
Fears that machines may take over have been central to the plot of some of the most popular science fiction films.
Despite being the subject of far-fetched fantasy, researchers said the concept of machines outsmarting us demanded mature attention.
The project has been co-founded by Cambridge philosophy professor Huw Price, cosmology and astrophysics professor Martin Rees and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.