by Jake Anderson, The Anti Media:
As Chuck Palahniuk once wrote, “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero.” If you’ve listened much to Stephen Hawking over the last decade, you may get the feeling our own timeline isn’t going to be very long. In recent years, the celebrated cosmologist has come out with progressively more dire warnings for the human race.
In his latest observation, Hawking told Britain’s Oxford University Union:
“I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”
This is far from his most dire warning. The theoretical physicist has made it almost a hobby. In fact, here is a rundown of five ways the human race could be annihilated in the coming centuries, according to Stephen Hawking.
In 2015, Hawking joined Tesla’s Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Google executive Demis Hassabis, and over 1,000 artificial intelligence experts who crafted an open letter about “military artificial intelligence arms race” and weaponized robots.
According to the letter:
“AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of [autonomous weapons] is – practically if not legally – feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.”
Hawking isn’t completely opposed to developing strong artificial intelligence but cautions that we have no idea what will happen when they supersede our intelligence. As a result, the risk factor is very high, especially when combined with automated weapons systems.
Hawking made a splash in the news last year when during his show, “Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places,” he explained that he planned to scan the exoplanet Gliese 832c, located 16 light years from Earth, for signs of intelligent life. He made clear his desire to deploy a “swarm of tiny spacecraft, each weighing far less than an ounce, to the Alpha Centauri star system.”
But Hawking raised some eyebrows with his next statement:
“One day we might receive a signal from a planet like this, but we should be wary of answering back. Meeting an advanced civilization could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn’t turn out so well.”
Despite some depictions of aliens as being so advanced they are transcendently benevolent, Hawking seems to envision that there are colonial aspects in outer space. In a previous interview, he intimated ET might not be too dissimilar from an American empire searching for oil:
“I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”
He imagines any species that has traversed such an incredible interstellar distance would have weapons systems just as advanced as their propulsion.
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