"When machine self awareness first occurs, it will be followed by self-improvement, which is a critical measurement of when things get interesting.... Improvements would be made in subsequent generations which for machines can pass in only a few hours"
"Asimov's three laws of robotics (referred to in the movie I-Robot) become difficult to obey once robots begin programming one another, removing the human input"
(Scientific American May, 2010)
The upshot of this article is that once robots get into the business of programming themselves humans are toast. The article also quotes Will Wright creator of Sims games as saying this could happen in our lifetime.