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Why Stephen Hawking Thinks a World Government Is the Solution to the Threat of AI Invation

Apr 03, 2017 01:22 AM EDT
Stephen Hawking
Hawking said that the best way to cope with the AI invention is with international action. If push comes to shove, then a world government may have to be created.
(Photo : Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation)

It may do humanity great good to trust one of the most revered physicists of all time. Stephen Hawking has been an ardent believer that artificial intelligence is a huge threat to the human race, provided that it's not handled correctly. Now, Hawking is more convinced and we need a world government to avoid the threat of robot invasion.

According to Business Insider, Hawking, in an interview with Times of London when he was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the City of London, expressed his growing concern regarding the rising dependence of humanity on machinery. He said that if machines will inevitably be a part of humans' everyday lives, then there has to be a proper regulatory body that willl monitor the expansion of artificial intelligence.

In Hawking's speech, which revolved around his concern about the future of humanity with AI, the renowned physicist said that the best way to cope with AI invention is through international action. If push comes to shove, then a world government may have to be created.

Hawking added that there is a need to quickly identify certain parts of the growth of AI so that it can be regulated before it goes "out of control," which might mean international intervention.

Various experts from different institutions weighed in on Hawking's ideas.

Nick Bostrom from the University of Oxford told The Christian Science Monitor that "improved global governance" may be needed to regulate a lot of technological advances that society is currently developing.

Bostron explained that the odds of humanity surviving, given the instruments they are building, are getting slimmer. After all, even Facebook pages are run by AI that analyze ads, while AIs like Siri and Alexa are continually improving.

Edward Felten, a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, said there's also a need to solve the economic implications of such an "arrival."

He added that there might be a potential "mismatch" between the skills that human workers have today and the job demands in the future. After all, robots are steadily being developed to replace menial jobs, but there's also a possibility of them replacing even high-tier positions.

Academics are already exploring the various impacts of AI to society, especially on the harmonization of laws governing the development of AI technology.

Bostrom says he doesn't expect any sudden global transformations soon, but there are already concerns regarding AI-related laws, including car safety and crimes involving robots.

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