Legendary physicist Prof Stephen Hawking warned that the artificial intelligence could spell doom for human existence. In an interview with BBC News, he said that the development of thinking machines poses a serious threat to the human race. Stephen Hawking suffers from the motor neuron disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The disease has rendered him almost paralyzed.
Intel develops an improved system for Stephen Hawking
His warning came when BBC asked him about an improved technology that he uses to communicate. The new technology involves basic artificial intelligence (AI). Scientists at Intel have developed a new tool called ACAT (Assistive Context Aware Toolkit) that will help Prof Hawking, and millions like him, communicate. Stephen Hawking himself provided inputs in developing the technology.
The physicist has a long-standing relationship with Intel. Stephen Hawking told USA Today Intel had been supporting him for more than 25 years. The ACAT has the potential to improve the lives of disabled people across the globe. The motor neuron disease affects about 3 million people around the world, deteriorating their voluntary muscle activities for body movement, speaking, swallowing and walking.
Experts from the popular Swiftkey app maker were also involved in the creation of ACAT. The system learns how Hawking thinks and suggests the next words he might want to use. However, the system produces a computer voice rather than a natural one. Prof Hawking said that primitive forms of AI that have been developed so far have been useful. But it will be disastrous if AI matches or surpasses humans.
AI could supersede humans
He warned that the AI would take off on its own, and redesign itself at a fast pace. Humans could be superseded because we are limited by the slow biological evolution. Visionary entrepreneur and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk has also warned that artificial intelligence was the biggest threat to humans. In October this year, he advised the scientific community to make sure that they “don’t do something very foolish.”
Further, Stephen Hawking said e would love to play a baddie in a James Bond movie. He joked that his robotic voice and unique appearance would fit the part.