Stephen Hawking: AI Could Spell the End of the Human Race
Artificial intelligence alarmism is running rampant these days, between Elon Musk claiming that creating artificial intelligence is akin to "summoning the demon" and Oxford University's Nick Bostrom claiming that AI is a greater threat to humanity than global warming. Now, Stephen Hawking has joined the fray, as he recently claimed that "the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
In an interview with BBC, Hawking responded to questions about the extremely advanced technology that allows him to speak in spite of his motor neuron disease. The technology, called Intel, is incredibly sophisticated, as it able to learn how Hawking thinks and suggest words for him.
In response, Hawking is worried that AI will eventually overtake human beings. He expressed concerns that were very similar to Bostrom's conception of superintelligence: "It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded."
Someone of Hawking's clout making these statements does make the opinions Elon Musk, who called AI the "biggest existential threat" to humanity right now, seem less radical or fringe. That being said, there have also been studies which state that the most advanced AI has the same IQ as a four-year-old, or a similarly small child. So while artificial intelligence may be a major threat sometime in the future, chances are we don't have to start worrying about it right this second.