Stephan Hawking Warns That AI Could Destroy Mankind

In a recent interview with the British newspaper The Times, Hawking talked about the advancement of technology and the relatively slow evolution of man in keeping pace. “Since civilization began, aggression has been useful inasmuch as it has definite survival advantages,” he said. “It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution. Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.”

Professor Hawking does not predict the demise of the human race by the malice of the “rising up” of robots intent on defeating mankind, but rather the singular competence and focus of machines. “The real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence,” he continued. “A super-intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble.” There is also the problem of how and why they might continue to pursue a goal and we not be able to “reprogram them”. “You’re probably not an evil ant-hater who steps on ants out of malice, but if you’re in charge of a hydroelectric green energy project and there’s an anthill in the region to be flooded, too bad for the ants. Let’s not place humanity in the position of those ants.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk shares a similar viewpoint, having recently warned that “humans are in danger of becoming irrelevant”.  RE



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