Every once in a while, our civilization is gifted with a truly life-changing genius. In our generation, one of those geniuses was without a doubt Professor Stephen Hawking, who passed away in 2018.
Overpopulation, climate change, Artificial Intelligence, energy consumption, and even aliens could lead to the annihilation of the human race, according to Professor Stephen Hawking.
He was a man who tirelessly tried bringing science close to the ordinary man, and he did so while explaining complex stuff in a way that ordinary people could understand it.
He made astrophysics look easy.
A few weeks before he died, Stephen Hawking worked on one last gift for humanity, a study called “A Smooth Exit From Eternal Inflation?”
In the paper, the British scientist worked out how he thinks our universe started, grew, and how everything will eventually come to an end.
His last research paper was complicated. In fact, as noted by Discover, its stuff that most scientists couldn’t comprehend.
In the study, Hawking and p Thomas Hertog speculated that the end of the cosmos will occur in a relatively smooth transition.
“They argue that the end of eternal inflation (the expansion of the universe) may occur in a smooth way, and the variety of the possible outcomes is limited,” explained cosmologist Andrei Linde, in an article for Gizmodo.
But Hawking was interested in many other, more ordinary aspects.
As noted by Futurism, the British researcher was worried about Artificial Intelligence, and how AI could one day take over the world.
“The genie is out of the bottle. We need to move forward on artificial intelligence development but we also need to be mindful of its very real dangers,” Hawking said last year in a Q&A with WIRED.
“I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that will outperform humans.”
During a Web Summit technology conference in Portugal in 2017, Hawking warned how the abrupt development in AI could become “the worst event in the history of our civilization.”
“Success in creating effective AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst. We just don’t know. So we cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI, or ignored by it and side-lined, or conceivably destroyed by it,” Hawking explained during the speech.
The British scientist said that mankind needs to find a way to control the development of AI.
In 2017, during an interview with BBC, Hawking said that even before AI could have the chance to wipe us out, we may do it ourselves, noting that one of the biggest mistakes we’ve made is allowed climate change to get out of control.
“We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible,” he told them. “Trump’s action could push Earth over the brink … and [by] pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, Donald Trump will cause unavoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world for us and our children.”
He also discussed Earth’s future and how things don’t look too bright for us as our planet seems to be getting smaller and smaller for us, and things may soon get out of hand.
“Our earth is becoming too small for us, the global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing… I would not be optimistic about the long-term outlook for our species.”
In fact, in a 2017 documentary, Hawking claimed that mankind has a century left on Earth.
That’s why during the Starmus IV Festival in 2017, Hawking explained that it was primordial that mankind finds a way to travel and colonize other planets in our solar system, in order to ensure the existence of the human race.
He warned that mankind had only around one thousand years on Earth before our planet became inhospitable for humans.