London: Renowned physicist Stephen hawking has warned that artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually completely replace humans. Prof. Hawking believes AI will eventually reach a level where it will essentially be a “new form of life that will outperform humans”, the Cambridge News reported.
“I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that improves and replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans,” he said. A recent report has found that four in 10 jobs are at risk of being replaced by robots. It said 38 per cent of US jobs will be replaced by robots and AI by early 2030s.
During the interview, Prof. Hawking urged more people to take an interest in science, claiming there would be “serious consequences” if this didn’t happen. He said a new space programme should be developed “with a view to eventually colonising suitable planets for human habitation.” He said: “I believe we have reached the point of no return. Our Earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing.”
This is not the first time Prof. Hawking has spoken out about the development of AI. Earlier this year, he called for technology to be controlled in order to prevent it from destroying the human race, the Independent reported. Humans need to find a way to identify potential threats quickly, before they have a chance to escalate and endanger civilisation, he had said.
In 2015, he had said he feared AI could become so powerful it might end up killing humans unintentionally. “The real risk with AI isn't malice but competence,” he had said. “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.”