World renowned astronomer and physicist Stephen Hawking attended the Zeitgeist conference in London and issued a powerful warning regarding the near future. He says that if we are not extremely cautious, artificial intelligence (AI) could be the end of the human race.
Beyond a doubt, the achievement of AI would constitute an amazing scientific breakthrough that has the potential of being extremely helpful to humanity. However, it also has the capability of bringing the human race to extinction, explained Professor Hawking.
Not only does he expect that AI will be achieved soon, but Stephan Hawking expects that in the following 100 years, “Computers will overtake humans with AI”. And if you take a moment to ponder the overwhelming amount of technological inventions uncovered every single day, then you will realize that he might be right.
“Our future is a race between the growing power of technology and the wisdom with which we use it.”, says Professor Hawking, pointing out that our only chance of facing this inevitable future is making sure that the robots have the same goals as we do.
As long we will have the same interests, the collaboration will prove to be fruitful. But the moment that we reach a significant difference in views with the robots, there is a great chance that this will generate a war unlike any other that has been seen in human history.
This version of the future has been on scientists’ minds for decades, as it can easily be observed from the multitude of Sci-Fi books and films. Blockbusters like “Terminator” and “The Matrix” have offered a visualization of this theory, but they were never viewed as actual warnings.
The difference is that now, Professor Hawking is talking about reality, not Science Fiction. And he has included a very palpable timeline, that should put things into perspective for us.
It is not however the first time that Stephen Hawking recognizes factors that have extraordinary destruction potential and that could put an end to the world as we know it. He has spoken before of the dangers of nuclear war, that could have devastating consequences of planetary proportions.
He pointed out how it only takes one world leader who has access to nuclear weapons to make a impetuous decision and that this could fire up the destruction of the entire planet. Moreover, he reminded us that in the end even those world leaders are only humans and therefore, they are capable of making mistakes.
There is an abundance of end-of-the-world scenarios out there, but what seems to be a common trait that ensures the perfect prophylactic method is moderation. We must be extremely careful about the consequences of our actions and try to view them in a global context.
And while Stephen Hawking has enough arguments to support his Artificial Intelligence theory, there is some hope still left. It was also Professor Hawking who said that we must take in the wonders that this world has to offer and enjoy the time we have in it, because that is what we are left with in the face of whatever will happen to cause the end of the world.
Image Source: thehindu
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