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Stephen Hawking Warns of Robot Rebellion, Says Humankind is 'Greatest Threat to Earth'

Jun 29, 2016 08:55 AM EDT
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Have any of Blade Runner's predictions come true?

Stephen Hawking has warned that Artificial Intelligence could evolve faster than humans and possibly cause a robot rebellion. The renowned physicist also said that humans are the greatest threat to the planet.

Robot Upsurge in the Making?

In an interview with Larry King, Hawking discussed his fears on the future of human race with the growing trend of using robots to ease everyday life.

"I don't think advances in artificial intelligence will necessarily be benign," said Hawking via Daily Mail. "Once machines reach a critical stage of being able to evolve themselves we cannot predict whether their goals will be the same as ours."

At present, robots are used as digital assistants and self-driving vehicles. However, Hawking said that artificial intelligence evolves faster than humans do, and just like in movies, could end mankind if they are powerful enough.

This is not the first time that Hawking has warned the world about the potential danger of artificial intelligence. He previously said that technology could adapt to its environment and gain the ability to think independently.

"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," Hawking told BBC. He further said that to avoid a future robot uprising, artificial intelligence should be designed by following ethical and safety standards.

Humans Still Not Cleaning Up Their Act

Hawking also stressed on how the human race has not changed its behavior towards the environment in the past six years, USA Today reports.

“We certainly have not become less greedy or less stupid. The population has grown by half a billion since our last meeting, with no end in sight. At this rate, it will be eleven billion by 2100," he said.

He noted that the biggest problem that the world is facing today is climate change. Air pollution, according to Hawking, has worsen in the past years with 80 percent of residents in urban areas exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution. Hawking also wonders if it's already too late for the world to curb the dangers of global warming.

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