One of the world’s smartest humans has grave concerns about artificial intelligence “going rogue.” Stephen Hawking appeared on RT’s “Larry King Now” Monday to discuss a wide range of topics – from the rise of robots to one of the universe’s biggest mysteries – women.
Here are just a few of the best moments from their conversation.
Rise of the machines
While machines help Hawking stay alive and communicate, he’s concerned about the direction in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) is moving.
Pointing the finger at governments around the world, Hawking said he believed they were “engaged in an AI arms race, designing planes and weapons with intelligent technologies” instead of channeling money towards projects “directly beneficial to the human race such as improved medical screening” which he said “seems a somewhat lower priority.”
“Once machines reach the critical stage of being able to evolve themselves, we cannot predict whether their goals will be the same as ours.”
“Artificial intelligence has the potential to evolve faster than the human race.”
“Beneficially, AI could co-exist with humans and augment our capabilities, but rogue AI could be difficult to stop.”
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“We need to ensure AI is designed ethically with safeguards in place.”
Biggest mystery of the Universe
When asked what he thought was the biggest mystery of the universe, Hawking said it was the question of why “the universe and all the laws of nature exist” and if they’re “necessary.”
“In one sense, they are because otherwise we wouldn’t be here to ask the question but is there a deeper reason?”
Greatest threat to mankind
While Hawking told King that with the world’s population is likely to hit 11 billion by 2100, assuming the human race survives that long, he added that the biggest threat to mankind was “the increase in air pollution and the emission of increasing levels of carbon dioxide”
“Air pollution has increased by 8 percent over the past five years. More than 80 percent of inhabitants of urban areas are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution.”
“Six years ago, I was warning about pollution and overcrowding, they have got worse since then.”
“Will we be too late to avoid dangerous levels of global warming?”
Perhaps the most perplexing question about the way our world works for Hawking is the chemistry between men and women.
The twice-married father of three told King he has “learned a lot about women” since they last spoke in 2010, but then he cheekily turned the tables on the legendary talk show host by saying it was his “turn to ask a personal question.”
“You have been married eight times to seven different women, is that a triumph of hope over experience?”
After he was taken off-guard, King said there was “always eternal hope” when it comes to marriage.