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AI News: Stephen Hawking Used AI to Warn Us About AI

technews2 months ago3 min read

Just under a year ago, Stephan Hawking passed away. It was a tragic loss for the world in my opinion to have lost such a great mind. Stephen Hawking is and will continue to be missed by many but he did leave us many words of wisdom in which we should never forget.

The late Stephen Hawking was a big public figure and often spoke about how humanity could possibly benefit from artificial intelligence.

In many cases he spoke about how he was worried it may be humanity's undoing and he may very well be right. Hawking made his worries clear when he proposed the high probability that thinking machines will most likely take charge one day. He even predicted many future developments in AI which were highly likely to occur and “could spell the end of the human race.”

However we look at the information presented and try to argue against many of his predictions there is still a dark cloud which seems to follow us and agree subconsciously when we think about these issues. The fear that he may be right.

Hawking’s relationship with AI was far more complex than this often-cited soundbite. The deep concerns he expressed were about superhuman AI, the point at which AI systems not only replicate human intelligence processes, but also keep expanding them, without our support–a stage that is at best decades away, if it ever happens at all. And yet Hawking’s very ability to communicate those fears, and all his other ideas, came to depend on basic AI technology.

The sort of ironic part of this issue is that in order to express his true concerns about the dangers of AI he needed to use AI to get the message across. There is clearly a bit of a paradox presented in this circumstance.

Sometimes his warnings can be taken out of context but I truly believe he was trying to get across the messages described in the statement below:

Hawking’s views on AI are somewhat less alarmist and more nuanced than he usually gets credit for. At their heart, they describe the need to understand and regulate emerging technologies. He repeatedly called for more research on the benefits and dangers of AI. And he believed that even non-superhuman AI systems could help eradicate war, poverty and disease.

Stephen Hawking’s experience with such a basic form of AI illustrates how non-superhuman AI can indeed change people’s lives for the better. Speech prediction helped him cope with a devastating neurological disease. Other AI-based systems are already helping prevent, fight, and lessen the burden of disease.

I feel that Stephen Hawking was an extraordinary man who managed to accomplish the unthinkable despite the fact of being one of the most disadvantaged people ever to live. It is hard not to say that this man is a hero, a testament to the human will and spirit, a genius and a much needed example of humanity's triumph over terrible circumstance.

What do you guys think about Stephen Hawking's contributions to humanity? Do you feel his warnings about AI are justified? Are we indeed about to see superhuman AI systems coming online in our lifetimes?

Please share your thoughts below!


AI gave Stephen Hawking a voice—and he used it to warn us against AI - Quartz

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