“Artificial Intelligence could spell the End of the Human Race” – Stephen Hawking

Avatar Written by Majid Habib · 1 min read>

Famed British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at University of Cambridge – Dr. Stephen Hawking yet again warned about the demise of mankind at the hands of Artificial Intelligence.

In an interview with the BBC News on Tuesday, Stephen Hawking once again, acknowledged his fears about the consequences of future creations, which could eventually equal or exceed mankind’s current abilities.

Earlier this year in May, Stephen Hawking described the dynamic arrival of AI by commenting “We are facing potentially the best or worst thing to happen to humanity in history.” Later in July, during an interview with John Oliver, Hawking argued that “Artificial intelligence could be a real danger in the not too distant future.” And just yesterday, he once again expressed his fears by saying “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”.

Although he appreciates the benefits of existing artificial intelligence systems, he added that future machines could restructure themselves at an ever increasing rate. “It would take off on its own, and redesign itself at an ever increasing rate,” he said. “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.” Hawking also added that the Internet will play a major role in how AI will evolve and further advised “more must be done by the internet companies to counter the threat, but the difficulty is to do this without sacrificing freedom and privacy.”

Hawking, who has a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), depends on artificial intelligence to communicate. The interview itself was regarding a new AI system developed by Intel Labs for the theoretical physicist. The new software is able to calculate the next words he wishes to say from the words he has previously input, meaning Hawking will have to type in fewer than 20% all the characters.

The technology world is no stranger to controversial theories regarding artificial intelligence. Elon Musk (Founder Tesla and SpaceX) has compared A.I. to nuclear war and even demons on numerous occasions. While, also demanding for worldwide regulation.

Listen to Stephen Hawking’s full interview here.
Image Source: NBC News