Stephen Hawking Issues Terrifying Warning About AI Robots

Professor Stephen Hawking has issued a chilling warning about the imminent rise of artificial intelligence. During a new interview, Professor Hawking warned that AI will soon reach a level where it will be a 'new form of life that will outperform humans.' Professor Hawking even went so far as to say that AI may replace humans altogether, although he didn't specify a timeline for his predictions.

Professor Hawking made the chilling comments during a recent interview with Wired.

He said: 'I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that improves and replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans.'

During this recent interview, Professor Hawking also urged more people to take an interest in science, claiming that there would be 'serious consequences' if this didn't happen. He added that a new space programme should be developed, 'with a view to eventually colonising suitable planets for human habitation.' 

He said: '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.'

This isn't the first time that Professor Hawking has expressed fears about the rise of AI. In October last year, Professor Hawking warned that artificial intelligence could develop a will of its own that is in conflict with that of humanity. It could herald dangers like powerful autonomous weapons and ways for the few to oppress the many, he said, as he called for more research in the area.

He was speaking in Cambridge at the launch of The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, which will explore the implications of the rapid development of artificial intelligence.

He 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.  It therefore follows that computers can, in theory, emulate human intelligence - and exceed it.'

Artificial intelligence is progressing rapidly and there are 'enormous' levels of investment, Professor Hawking said. He said the potential benefits were great and the technological revolution could help undo some of the damage done to the natural world by industrialisation.

'In short, success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation,' said Professor Hawking. But it could also be the last unless we learn how to avoid the risks.'

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