by Graham Pierrepoint
With recent news that a machine has been able to beat humans and even other computers have been beaten at their own game thanks to machine learning, many are raising the alarm that artificial intelligence may be getting smarter – and with it, more potentially dangerous. If AI is able to learn for itself and develop as such, it could mean that humanity itself is on the brink of facing true competition for livelihood – and while you may think that this is scaremongering, one of the world’s most authoritative scientists has weighed in on the debate – and his two cents are just as sinister.
Professor Stephen Hawking is, of course, one of the most celebrated and world-renowned physicists on the planet. His book, A Brief History of Time, is widely regarded as the closest authority we have as to why the universe exists – and he has continued to offer his professional opinion and research on some of the world’s most pressing technological and astronomical advances. Frankly, if anyone is worth listening to, it’s Stephen Hawking.
Hawking has this week advised that the development of AI could mean that humanity itself faces ‘replacement’ – that an uprising could well occur in the years to come in the form of a ‘new form of life’. It is in conversation with Wired that he has advised his concerns, outright stating that he fears ‘AI could may replace humans altogether’. “This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans,” warns the Professor. “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 scientists and author had previously stated.
Hawking’s fears are that, if AI advances too far – to the extent where it could effectively outperform us on our own everyday tasks – we could risk going obsolete ourselves ▶ if we credit them with too much intelligence – literally. It is always fascinating to see just how advanced technology is becoming and how intelligent AI is becoming – but if these machines and bugs can effectively think for themselves, we could be faced with a situation like never before.
While Hawking is hardly envisioning a Terminator-style situation, he is warning of a future that could be rather difficult for all who are organic – at least, in the face of intelligent life that we ourselves have created. Show your iPhone some respect today – they may be running your life ▶ tomorrow!
WATCH: Stephen Hawking Warns Robots May ‘Replace Humans Altogether’ ▶ (CBS 11 News)