Hawking: Without a ‘one world government’ technology will destroy us

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Stephen Hawking, widely considered to be the most accomplished theoretical physicist in the entire world has made no secret of his fears that the technology behind artificial intelligence is developing faster than human beings can keep up with, and could eventually lead to a destruction of the human race. Now he has proposed a solution to this terrifying potential problem although he believes the solution could prove to be an even greater threat to the world.

Speaking to The Times, Professor Hawking explained his fears about the threat posed by artificial intelligence. “Since civilization began, aggression has been useful since it has definite survival advantages, ” he said, “It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution. Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.”

Expanding on this further, Professor Hawking explained that the primary problem with artificial intelligence is not that it would seek to destroy humanity but that it might be indifferent to the fate of human beings. “A super-intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble, ” he explained, “You’re probably not an evil ant-hater who steps on ants out of malice, but if you’re in charge of a hydroelectric green energy project, and there’s an anthill in the region to be flooded, too bad for the ants. Let’s not place humanity in the position of those ants.”

He said that this kind of problem could be contained if human beings were in control of a centralized agency that could constantly keep a step ahead of new technology and therefore could smooth out potential problems before they arose. He said that this might require the formation of a one world government. However, he said that this was not the perfect solution as any such organization could be in the position to exercise tyrannical control over the entire world’s population.

“All this may sound a bit doom-laden, but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges, ” concluded Professor Hawking. Let’s hope that he’s right.

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