The Independent reports: Professor Stephen Hawking says he believes pollution and human “stupidity” remain the biggest threats to mankind, while also expressing his concerns over the use of artificial intelligence in warfare.
The world’s leading theoretical physicist argued “we have certainly not become less greedy or less stupid” in our treatment of the environment over the past decade, during an interview on Larry King Now, which is hosted on Ora TV.
Professor Hawking said: “Six years ago, I was warning about pollution and overcrowding, they have gotten worse since then. The population has grown by half a billion since our last interview, with no end in sight.
“At this rate, it will be eleven billion by 2100. Air pollution has increased by 8 percent over the past five years. More than 80 percent of inhabitants of urban areas are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution.
“The increase in air pollution and the emission of increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Will we be too late to avoid dangerous levels of global warming?”
The cosmologist was speaking at the Starmus science conference in Tenerife, themed this year as a tribute to his life’s work.
Professor Hawking went on to outline his concerns about the future of artificial intelligence technologies, and specifically their primary use in weaponry. [Continue reading…]