World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has a few thing to say about the future of humanity and the development of artificial intelligence — and he wasn’t feeling optimistic.
Hawking was interviewed by Larry King on Monday.
“Governments seem to be engaged in an AI arms race,” Hawking told King. “Designing planes and weapons with intelligent technologies. The funding for projects directly beneficial to the human race, such as improved medical screening seems a somewhat lower priority.”
The way that AI can be influenced by humans became painfully clear earlier this year when Microsoft’s chatbot, dubbed “Tay,” had to be taken off line because she had learned to spew foul language and racist hatred from Twitter users.
“We have certainly not become less greedy or less stupid,” Hawking noted.
On a resigned-sounding note, Hawking said he has been warning for years about problems that are now becoming pressing.
“Six years ago, I was warning about pollution and overcrowding, they have gotten worse since then,” he said. “More than 80 percent of inhabitants of urban areas are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution.”
Hawking warned about artificial intelligence and the fact there is no way to predict what will happen when machines reach the ability to self-determine.
“Once machines reach the critical stage of being able to evolve themselves, we cannot predict whether their goals will be the same as ours,” he said.
The full interview can be viewed here, via Ora TV.