Stephen Hawking reminds us technology will kill us all and it’s all our fault
During an interview with The Times, Hawking repeated the concept that humanity faces existential threats from climate change, artificial intelligence and mass species extinction.
He also warned that the human inclination towards aggression, linked to technological advancements, could mark our destruction (roughly in 1,000 years):
“Since civilisation began, aggression has been useful in as much as it has definite survival advantages,” he said. “It is hardwired 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,” he continued. “We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason. We need to be quicker to identify such threats and act before they get out of control.”
What’s the solution then? The answer might surprise you:
“This might mean some form of world government. But that might become a tyranny. All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges.”
You call it optimism? Well.
The 74-year-old cosmologist isn’t new to apocalyptic comments.
In October, Hawking warned that the creation of AI (artificial intelligence) will be “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity.”
“We spend a great deal of time studying history,” Hawking said, “which, let’s face it, is mostly the history of stupidity. So it’s a welcome change that people are studying instead the future of intelligence.”
Two years ago, he told the BBC that the development of AI could “spell the end of the human race.” His concerns were shared by Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak who, along with more than 8,000 leading researchers and scientists, signed a letter warning that artificial intelligence can potentially be more dangerous than nuclear weapons.