Over at the Physics And Cake blog, there's a great discussion of exactly how machines will replace theoretical physicists, with their only goal being to create a perfect model of the universe, and no ego at stake.
I feel that the best way to do Physics is to build machines to do Physics for us... I also believe that there are fundamental reasons why we are not best placed as agents in this environment to do Physics anymore. I feel that we are approaching somewhat of a ‘ceiling' regarding our own ability to understand the way in which the universe operates.
What do you think? Will the Steven Hawking of 2050 be an A.I.? [Physics And Cake]