16 november 2017
Stephen Hawking claims that machines and AI create a new form of life

Stephen Hawking claims that machines and AI create a new form of life

The world-famous physicist Hawking believes that machines with the system of artificial intelligence can create a new form of life in the nearest future, having substituted humans in many aspects. He shared this view with the Wired magazine.

The British professor expressed his concerns that soon AI would have all the chances to outcompete people. He calls attention to the fact that even now people create very progressive computer viruses. By analogy, some day scientists can create an AI that can improve and reproduce itself. He calls such artificial intelligence a new form of life that surpasses the human race.

Stephen Hawking subscribes to the opinion that people should devote more attention to science, accumulate resources for developing a program for space exploration and colonization of other planets suitable for human habitation.

The scientist says that now the humankind has reached the point of no return. Our planet is already too small for the rapidly increasing population. In his opinion, this brings us at risk of self-destruction.

The similar prognosis was voiced by Elon Musk, an inventor and the founder of the SpaceX corporation. He believes as well that the further uncontrolled development of AI can be a major threat for humans. The danger that AI can pose cannot be compared even with car accidents or plane crashes, medicine deficiency and low-quality food. Musk even urged the government to control implementation of AI in different fields, even though generally he opposes government intervention in business. Even though Hawking’s predictions about AI are not as radical, he still thinks that in the future AI will definitely surpass humans. When in 2016 he was opening the Leverhulme center that deals with the research of the future intelligence, he said there was no significant difference between the results obtained by a human brain and by AI. The professor insists that AI systems can easily copy human intelligence and even be better than it. At the same time Hawking says that one cannot predict for sure what consequences of self-improving AI there will be and how it will interact with humanity.

Hawking concluded the interview by saying that powerful artificial intelligence would be either the best or the worst thing that befalls humankind.

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