Stephen Hawking has never been one to back down from his opinions because they’re controversial. However, he recently echoed the sentiments that were shared by Elon Musk just a few months ago regarding artificial intelligence. Hawking said, “The primitive forms of artificial intelligence we already have, have proved very useful. But I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
While not everyone agrees with Hawking’s synopsis of what the future would look like with artificial intelligence intermingling with humankind, his explanation makes logical sense at some levels. “Once humans develop artificial intelligence it would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate,” Hawking explained. The very concept of artificial intelligence is that the intelligence is artificial – and that it’s being created artificially. In theory, if there were no ‘shut-off’ mechanism, or if that technology were used with mal-intent, then the results could be catastrophic.
However, even those who agree with Hawking reminded those around them that this was a distant threat. Something that should be taken seriously, but not blown out of proportion. Daniela Cerqui, who is an anthropologist at Switzerland’s Lausanne University noted that she was “pleased that a scientists from the ‘hard sciences’ has spoken out,” indicating that the general concern about artificial intelligence is real, and something that scientists and engineers should be paying attention to, instead of ignoring.
Elon Musk made waves late in the summer when he shared remarks that echoed the same concerns that Hawking did, and ultimately was met with the same skepticism amongst some. Now though, new merit has been shed on Musks remarks since he now shares the viewpoint of one of the most intelligent men to have ever lived.
Earlier this week, Stephen Hawking pointed out his desire to play a bad guy in a James Bond movie. This sparked much conversation as a movie portraying his life is actually set to release. To the amusement of many Hawking said, “My ideal role would be a baddie in a James Bond film. I think the wheelchair and the computer voice would fit the part.”