According to Stephen Hawking who wrote such famous books as “A Brief History of Time” and “Black Holes and Baby Universes” the increased usage of robots by humanity might as well spell its doom.
‘Looking further ahead, there are no fundamental limits to what can be achieved,’ said Professor Hawking.‘There is no physical law precluding particles from being organised in ways that perform even more advanced computations than the arrangements of particles in human brains.’
As machines and computers learn to think on their own, they may just takeover most of the functions from mankind and leave it a cripple and slave to these clever gadgets.
Especially, the stuff that was coming out faster and faster from the heart of the digital revolution, Silicon Valley, was a threat to our very basic human existence on earth.
Stephen Hawking stated that the latest developments on this front included such things as personal digital assistants and driverless cars.
Cortana, Siri and Google initiatives were marching along on the road to progress. But Hawking with his shrewd and perceptive mind said that such new discoveries and inventions could well be the last dying breath of humankind.
‘Although we are facing potentially the best or worst thing to happen to humanity in history, little serious research is devoted to these issues. All of us should ask ourselves what we can do now to improve the chances of reaping the benefits and avoiding the risks.’
What the professor, who is most of the time immobile and barely able to speak and dictate information on his wheelchair, means is that we always have choice. Is the path ahead so safe that we can blindly follow it to wherever it leads us?
Many people would disagree. And Hawking, while not an obscurantist or a mystic, nevertheless cautions against Pollyanna thinking. We ought to employ all this technology to wipe out the scourges of disease, war and unemployment from the face of the earth. But we seem to be headed in the wrong direction.
The risks according to Hawing are very real and will have to be countered bravely and with dignity. The globe seems to be poised on the verge of both infinite possibilities and a range of colossal disasters that may be the swansong of Homo sapiens.