Theoretical physicist and all-around genius Stephen Hawking, has relied for decades on a kind of artificial intelligence to help him communicate, as he suffers from the debilitating motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). All the same, that doesn’t mean Hawking endorses AI without reservation.

As the esteemed professor told the BBC, he now believes that developments in artificial intelligence have been very useful, but further advancement could prove dangerous to the human race:

“It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate,” he said. “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

[…] Prof Hawking is not alone in fearing for the future.

In the short term, there are concerns that clever machines capable of undertaking tasks done by humans until now will swiftly destroy millions of jobs.

Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shares Hawking’s misgivings about AI, the Beeb also notes, and Musk has gone so far as to call it “our biggest existential threat.”

— Posted by Donald Kaufman.

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