The inventor of the black hole, the guy who figured out string theory. A brilliant professor who’s up there with Galileo, Newton and Einstein, thinks that the killer artificial intelligence might actually be a thing.
Easy Movie Analogy Aside
Earlier this year professor, Cambridge professor, Medal of Freedom winning Cambridge Professor, sometimes guest starred on The Simpsons Stephen Hawking, said in an interview that an intelligent AI could be our undoing. No really, “[it could] spell the end of the human race” (CBC). All I have to say to that is:
See here’s the thing, computers are quite stupid. In fact, they don’t really have an option on intelligence. They are just large difference engines that do millions upon billions calculations in a few seconds. The more power, the more calculations. Our brains do a similar thing.
Each time you move your arm your brain performs millions of calculations in a second that results in muscles contracting and expanding in order to create a movement. It’s also worth noting that a neuron is only 4 microns thick. Yet when acting together these microcomputers are able to grow, think and most importantly learn.
While computers are only at the arm-moving stage, the more powerful they get, the easier it’ll be for them to adopt some of those human traits. The more power they have, especially if connected to a network like the internet, the complexity of the possible calculations increases exponentially. Think about it this way, the more input to learn from, the faster the pathways get generated and then the faster one learns. Its a positive cycle that could end very negatively.
Okay, Okay, Calm Down, Don’t Panic
Grab a towel and listen. It’s not here, yet. But this isn’t the first time Professor “smartest guy among us” has commented on the Anthropocene. In fact last year he had more to say about the near future. He quite aptly pointed out that if we were ever to meet another intelligent species, odds are it wouldn’t end well for us (NBC); we’d all find ourselves in a dinosaur way.
Second Easy Movie Analogy Aside
So what does this all mean? Democracy. Yes democracy. It shows us the democratizing effects of the internet. Because of all of this interconnectivity all our opinions have a vote. Super smart guys like Professor Hawking can have an opinion on Aliens or Terminators and we all hear about it. All opinions are equal online. It shows how powerful of a tool the internet, and by proxy your website, can go in connecting with others. A good message created with authority can go a long way.
Either that or Mr. Professor Stephen Hawking really, really does not like science fiction movies.