Humans Could Be ‘Superseded’ by Supercomputers, Stephen Hawking Warns
Stephen Hawking has warned that humans face being superseded by computers if the race to develop artificial intelligence continues apace.
The renowned physicist and cosmologist issued the stark message at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing.
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Speaking via video link, Hawking said: “I believe that the rise of powerful AI will either be the best thing, or the worst thing, to happen to humanity. I have to say now that we do not yet know which. But we should do all we can to ensure that its future development benefits us and our environment.
“I see the development of AI as a trend with its own problems that we know must be dealt with now and into the future. The progress in AI research and development is swift and perhaps we should all stop for a moment and focus our research, not only on making AI more capable but on maximizing its societal benefit.”
Hawking believes technology has advanced to the point where there is no real difference between what can be achieved by a human brain and a computer.
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“Computers can in theory emulate human intelligence and exceed it. So we cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI or ignored by it and sidelined or conceivably destroyed by it.
“Indeed we have concerns that clever machines will be capable of undertaking work currently done by humans and swiftly destroy millions of jobs.”