Stephen Hawking Says Artificial Intelligence Will be The Best or Worst Thing to Happen to Humanity

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Artificial Intelligence Will be The Best or Worst Thing to Happen to Humanity


Artificial Intelligence

Stephen Hawking recently spoke at the launch of the new Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence in Cambridge. At the event, he said the rise of AI would transform every aspect of our lives and was a global event on a par with the industrial revolution.


“Success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization,” claimed renowned cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking at the opening of the new Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) in Cambridge, UK. “But it could also be the last – unless we learn how to avoid the risks. Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers like powerful autonomous weapons or new ways for the few to oppress the many.

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The rise of superintelligent AI has been a favorite topic for Hawking the last few years. Increasingly, researchers all over the world are now taking the risk of advanced AI catching up to, and exceeding human intelligence very seriously.

"I believe there is no deep difference between what can be achieved by a biological brain and what can be achieved by a computer.  It therefore follows that computers can, in theory, emulate human intelligence — and exceed it," stated Hawking through his computer-generated voice.

“We cannot predict what we might achieve when our own minds are amplified by AI. Perhaps with the tools of this new technological revolution, we will be able to undo some of the damage done to the natural world by the last one – industrialization.”

Stephen Hawking Says Artificial Intelligence Will be The Best or Worst Thing to Happen to Humanity

"The rise of powerful AI will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity," Hawking concluded. "We do not yet know which.  That is why in 2014, I and a few others called for more research to be done in this area.  I am very glad that someone was listening to me!"

"Success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization."
The Centre for the Future of Intelligence has been initiated to focus on seven distinct projects in the first three-year phase of its work, reaching out to researchers and connecting them and their ideas to the challenges of making the best of AI. Among the initial research topics are: ‘Science, value and the future of intelligence’; ‘Policy and responsible innovation’; ‘Autonomous weapons – prospects for regulation’ and ‘Trust and transparency’.

The Academic Director of the Centre, and Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge, Huw Price, said at the event, “The creation of machine intelligence is likely to be a once-in-a-planet’s-lifetime event. It is a future we humans face together. Our aim is to build a broad community with the expertise and sense of common purpose to make this future the best it can be.”

Zoubin Ghahramani, Deputy Director, Professor of Information Engineering and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, also said, “The field of machine learning continues to advance at a tremendous pace, and machines can now achieve near-human abilities at many cognitive tasks—from recognizing images to translating between languages and driving cars. We need to understand where this is all leading, and ensure that research in machine intelligence continues to benefit humanity. The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence will bring together researchers from a number of disciplines, from philosophers to social scientists, cognitive scientists and computer scientists, to help guide the future of this technology and  study its implications.”

“Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars or a computer game winning at the game of Go, are signs of what’s to come,” added Professor Hawking. “The rise of powerful AI will either be the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which. The research done by this centre is crucial to the future of our civilization and of our species.”



SOURCE  University of Cambridge


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