Wolrd-Renowned Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76, on the 14th of March, 2018. However, before he left Earth to travel among the stars, the British scientist left a number of interesting theories and warnings for mankind.
Among them, the British scientist spoke out about Artificial Intelligence, and the potential dangers it may represent for us. Professor Hawking believed that one day, Artificial Intelligence could develop a ‘will of its own,’ becoming one of the greatest threats to humanity.
Professor Hawking issued a warning saying that artificial intelligence could become so advanced that it may develop a will of its own, which could conflict with that of humanity.
This could result in dangerous and powerful autonomous weapons, as he called out researchers to further study Artificial Intelligence and its possibilities.
However, Professor Hawking also said that if we do our homework and research enough, we could avoid potential dangers, which could result in a better way of life, saying that Artificial intelligence may help humanity ‘finally eradicate disease and poverty,’ he added.
Professor Hawking spoke at the launch of The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, which aims to research and explore implications in the fast development of artificial intelligence.
The Leverhulme Centre for the future of intelligence is a collaboration between several universities in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Their ultimate mission is to “create an interdisciplinary research community” which will work in close collaboration with business and government and try to determine, among other things, “the risks and benefits in the short and long-term” of artificial intelligence.
The director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. Huw Price said that the creation of intelligent machines is a milestone of humanity and this center will try to make “the future the best possible.”
Among other things, the Centre will analyze the consequences of the rapid development of intelligent machines, such as robots or driverless cars which, while offering solutions to challenges of everyday life, also pose risks and ethical dilemmas for humanity since many people fear artificial intelligence could surpass human intelligence and take over.
‘I believe there is no deep difference between what can be achieved by a biological brain and what can be achieved by a computer. It, therefore, follows that computers can, in theory, emulate human intelligence – and exceed it.’
Professor Hawking stated that the potential benefits are great, and such a technological revolution could help mankind undo some of the damage we have done to our planet.
“In short, success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization,’ said Prof Hawking. “But it could also be the last unless we learn how to avoid the risks. Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It will bring great disruption to our economy.
And in the future, AI could develop a will of its own – a will that is in conflict with ours.”
“In short, the rise of powerful AI will be either the best or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not know which, said Professor Hawking.”
“That is why, in 2014, I and a few others called for more research to be done in this area. I am very glad that someone was listening to me,” concluded Professor Hawking.
Featured image by Julian-Faylona