It will essentially be a “New form of life that will outperform humans”
Prof Hawking said that he believes artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually reach a level where it will essentially be a “new form of life that will outperform humans“, the Cambridge News reports.
He said: “I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that improves and replicates itself.”
The professor is also urging young people to be more interested in space – and science in general.
The 75-year-old has also talked to Wired magazine about his belief that we need a new space age to entice young people to get involved in science and said there would be “serious consequences” if more people didn’t show an interest.
He added that he thinks a new space programme should be worked on urgently by the science community “with a view to eventually colonising suitable planets for human habitation.”
He continued: “I believe we have reached the point of no return. Our earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing.”
During the interview Prof Hawking also spoke out against Donald Trump’s travel ban and the US President’s climate change denial.
Benefits and Dangers of AI
Speaking at the launch of Cambridge University’s Artificial Intelligence Centre last year Prof Hawking said:
“I believe there is no deep difference between what can be achieved by a biological brain and what can be achieved by a computer. The achievements we have seen so far will surely pale against what the coming decades will bring.”
He went on: “The potential benefits of creating intelligence are huge and surely we will aim to finally eradicate disease and poverty. Every aspect of our lives will be transformed, In short, success in creating AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation.”
He added: “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.”