Pioneering physicist Stephen Hawking has issued new warnings about the dangers of technology.
The scientist has previous voiced fears that artificial intelligence systems could pose a threat to human survival.In recent statements he has broadened his view of the dangers.
Technology, Hawking says, is dangerous if it is not brought under control.The physicist advocates establishment of a world government that could help nations cooperate in maintaining control over technology.However, he fears that putting a world government in place could create even worse problems, eventually leading to tyranny.
“Since civilization began, aggression has been useful inasmuch as it has definite survival advantages,” Hawking 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.”
Hawking is particularly concerned about robots, which he believes could come to evolve faster than human beings and their technology for controlling them.
“Once machines reach a critical stage of being able to evolve themselves we cannot predict whether their goals will be the same as ours,” he said.
The famed physicist is not all doom-and-gloom, however.As history has shown, he says, people again and again rise to meet challenges.He believes humanity will prevail once more if the technical threats he forecasts materialize.
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