When Stephen Hawking speaks, we listen. The theoretical physicist has issued a fresh warning to researchers and technology companies, which he believes are in danger of pushing humans to the brink of disaster.
He’s essentially called on tech firms and scientists to reign their work in, before they create something too advanced to control. Hawking believes that there'll be a disaster on planet earth within the next 10,000 years, and doesn't think we'll be ready to cope for at least another century.
“We will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period,” Hawking said. “We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognise the dangers and control them.”
While he focused on the threats posed by nuclear weapons and genetically-engineered viruses this week, Hawking has spoken out against robotics in the past. Back in 2014, he warned against the creation of AI systems, claiming that they’d represent a huge achievement, but also lead directly to our own downfall. [Guardian]