Stephen Hawking Warns AI Could Spell The End Of Humans, 'Skynet' Is A Real Threat

When it comes to science fiction, the idea that artificial intelligence could be the cause of the human race’s extinction is a concept that has been used many times. For example, The Matrix and Terminator franchises depict futures where mankind is dominated, or being driven to extinction, by machines when the AI became self-aware. Now, as companies are creating thinking machines, Professor Stephen Hawking believes that such AI could threaten our existence.

When responding to a question about the technology behind how he communicates, which involves a basic form of AI, Professor Hawking answered the question and proceeded to tell the BBC, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."

Stephen Hawking
Image Source: Flickr (Intel Free Press)

While the theoretical physicist said that the early versions of AI developed up to this point have proven useful, he is fearful of the consequences of developing AI that is capable of matching or surpassing humans. According to Hawking, “It would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

However, Professor Hawking isn’t alone in thinking this. Tesla founder Elon Musk expressed similar opinions, on a number of occasions, saying, “We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

What do you think? Will some kind of AI uprising take place as mankind develops more complex AI capable of thinking? Or is it just the stuff that Sci-fi is made of?