Physicist Stephen Hawking, speaking at a technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal recently, took the opportunity to detail some of his distinct concerns regarding the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) across the globe. As noted by The Christian Post, Hawking made his comments just as Saudi Arabia declared it had become the first nation to actually grant citizenship to a humanoid robot.
Noting that computers have the ability to not only “emulate human intelligence,” but “exceed it,” Hawking said ominously that AI could end up being the “worst event in the history of civilization” if humans don’t retain the ability to ultimately control it.
“Success in creating effective AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst. We just don’t know. So we cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI, or ignored by it and side-lined, or conceivably destroyed by it,” Hawking said.
The famous cosmologist added that “unless we learn how to prepare for, and avoid, the potential risks, AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization. It brings dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It could bring great disruption to our economy.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large