In an interview with Larry King, the famous physicist Stephen Hawking spoke about the biggest threats to humanity. Hawking, who was interviewed from the Canary Islands, Spain, where he will be honored at the Starmus Festival, said that pollution, greed, and stupidity are the greatest humankind threats to Earth.
According to Hawking, there has been a progressive increase in air pollution and the emission of levels of carbon dioxide in the last five years.
He says that air pollution has grown by 8 percent over during this time. Regarding this number, he says that it could be eleven billion by 2100. He says that more than 80 percent of urban dwellers are exposed to such unsafe levels of air pollution. Global warming is the most alarming issue in Earth. He wonders whether it would be too late to avoid the threats of global warming.
During the interview, Hawking recalls having been worried about pollution and overcrowding six years ago expressing that this has not get better since then. In the 2010 interview with King, Hawking expressed his concern about our overcrowding and human stupidity.
“We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet,” he said.
Last month, Hawking warned on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, that our country could reach a temperature similar to Venus -a staggering 250C- if we do not pay attention to global warming.
He said that an asteroid collision might not be something to worry about since we do not know how to defend ourselves against such threat: Nevertheless, he thinks it does not seem something that will not be able to happen at any time. The last asteroid collision occurred 70 million years ago, and it killed the dinosaurs.
However for the acclaimed scientist, a more “immediate danger is runaway climate change” Hawking’s explained that hotter ocean temperature could melt the ice caps, resulting in the release of significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the ocean floor.
“Artificial intelligence has the potential to evolve faster than the human race,” says Professor Hawking”
Artificial intelligence has been one of the main issues in technologies and fields like medicine, communications, and even army. However, Hawking believes that advances in artificial intelligence will initially not cause any threat to humans, but once these machines reach a stage in which they can evolve themselves, it was hard to predict if their goals will remain the same as humans. Since robots might develop faster that human race, Professor Hawking thinks this could be dangerous for the human race if safety measures do not take place.
This is not the first time the acclaimed physicist has expressed his concerns regarding artificial intelligence, during an event in London, Hawking warned about the threats of a robot uprising. If technology becomes more intelligent and faster to adapt human’s environment, human would be in danger
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” said Hawking during a lecture for the BBC
A killing intelligent machine will be difficult to stop in the future
When Hawking was asked about AI, he also pointed out that the development of new planes and weapons with intelligent technologies makes him think that governments are interested in getting “an AI arms race.”
The famous Astrophysics said that governments need to restrain their aim to make killing machines because an arm AI would not be easy to stop. Hence, Hawking thinks it is important to ensure that robots would be designed ethically with safeguards in place.
He complains that governments have not pay attention to projects that help directly human race, for example, medical improvements such as screening. It seems a somewhat “lower priority “said Hawking.
What mystifies hawking the most about the universe?
For a brilliant mind like Stephen Hawking, during the last interview, Larry King did not hesitate when he asked the living legend about what would still mystify him about the universe. Hawking answered with questions: “Why do the universe and all the laws of nature exist? Are they necessary?”. He says that in one sense, they are needed because, otherwise, no one would be here to ask that question, however, he does not know if there is a deeper reason to that.
Larry commented that that was a different answer when Hawking was asked in 2012 by New Scientist what he thought about most during the day. Hawking said, at that time, that he used to think a lot about women because, for him, “they were a complete mystery.” In response to that comment, Hawking said he had learned a lot about women in the past few years. He even asked Larry King if having eight marriages was the triumph of hope over experience.”
In response to that comment, Hawking said he had learned a lot about women in the past few years. He even asked Larry King if having eight marriages was the “triumph of hope over experience.”
“You make a good point, Stephen” said Larry. “ I think the answer is yes,” he said when thinking about his 19-year marriage.