Stephen Hawking was a brilliant astrophysicist who inspired us. This visionary physicist is an intellectual leader in the study of black holes, quantum mechanics, and physical cosmology. He made us laugh. He made us curious. He made us imagine. Hawking was passionate about protecting humanity, which he predicted would face an onslaught of challenges in the years to come.
These are the few of his most dire predictions:
1) AI could be “the worst thing” ever happen to humanity
Hawking recognized the great opportunities that we achieved from advances in artificial intelligence, but also warned about the dangers. Hawking said at Web Summit. “We cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by A.I. or ignored by it and sidelined or conceivably destroyed by it.”
Hawking said the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful to humans; indeed, incorporated a basic form of AI is good enough. But Hawking feared the consequences of advanced forms of machine intelligence that could match or surpass humans.
Because if A.I. has given the power to learn infinitely it will give rise to “a new form of life that will outperform humans”.
2) Humans need to leave Earth
Hawking said that “If we need to continue for another million years, our future lies in boldly going where no one else has gone before ”. We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds. It is time to explore other solar systems.
According to hawking, the earth was in danger of experiencing astronomical events like asteroids, supernovas, overpopulation, and natural disasters. “Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth.”
3) If aliens meet us we should run
It was Hawking’s belief that when humans inevitably meet aliens, we should run. Hawking said that “I imagine aliens might exist in massive ships, having used up all of the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens should perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”
He cautioned to actively hail against trying any alien civilizations that might be out there.”If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” he said.
4) Climate change could spell out the end for our planet
Global warming will be one of the biggest threats to life on the planet. Hawking joined many scientists in his assertion that climate change could spell out the end for our planet. Sure, climate change could kill us all, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. According to Hawking, we aren’t at doomsday yet — and it’s up to our actions and ingenuity to keep it that way.
5) We Probably Won’t Encounter Aliens Soon
Despite his concerns about alien civilization, Hawking never said this alien invasion would happen anytime soon. In April 2016, he explained at a conference for the next 20 years, at least, will likely be alien free. The probability of finding alien life is low. But the discoveries from the Kepler mission suggest that there are billions of habitable planets in our galaxy alone. so it seems likely that there are others out there.