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Greed and stupidity have only become worse

posted onAugust 23, 2017

On the occasion of an open letter signed by 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries which urges the United Nations to urgently address the challenge of lethal autonomous weapons (often called ‘killer robots’) and ban their use internationally, we present the views of one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history, Stephen Hawking, who has warned repeatedly of the dangers of a robot uprising.

Prof. Hawking signed an earlier letter in 2015 calling for research on the societal impacts of AI. The letter was endorsed by Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky among others. The 2017 open letter however is the first time that AI and robotics companies have taken a joint stance on the issue.

Signatories of the 2017 letter include: Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX and OpenAI (USA), Mustafa Suleyman, founder and Head of Applied AI at Google’s DeepMind (UK), Esben Østergaard, founder & CTO of Universal Robotics (Denmark), Jerome Monceaux, founder of Aldebaran Robotics, makers of Nao and Pepper robots (France), Jü​rgen Schmidhuber, leading deep learning expert and founder of Nnaisense (Switzerland), Yoshua Bengio, leading deep learning expert and founder of Element AI (Canada).



Prof. Hawkings in an interview with the BCC in 2015 said  'the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.' He also said the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful, but he fears the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans. "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"Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded."

On the Larry King Now show last year, the professor spoke again of his fears about the future of the human race. 'I don't think advances in artificial intelligence will necessarily be benign,' Prof. Hawking said. 'Once machines reach a critical stage of being able to evolve themselves we cannot predict whether their goals will be the same as ours.' 'Artificial intelligence has the potential to evolve faster than the human race.' 'We need to ensure AI is designed ethically, with safeguards in place.'

During an interview with King in 2010, Hawking said two of mankind's biggest dangers were greed and stupidity, and he said in the latest interview that little has changed since then.

'We certainly have not become less greedy or less stupid,' he said. 

We agree with the professor. Most problems of society today are based on greed for wealth and glory and taking light-hearted the events. But what we need to do is try to hope and invest more in what is called human being as the upper limit of world creation.


Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England. Hawking was always interested in Math and Science. He won a scholarship to study Physics at Oxford. Then, he studied cosmology at Cambridge. Shortly after his 21st birthday, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) a disease which paralyzed him and required a speech generating device to communicate. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. 

He has received numerous awards but never won the Nobel Prize.  Hawking has written many science books for the public, including the international best-seller "A Brief History of Time" , "The Universe in a Nutshell," "The Grand Design" and "On the Shoulders of Giants."   His IQ- Estimated to be over 160. In 2014, the movie "The Theory of Everything” based on Hawking's life, was released. 


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