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Technology - Stephen Hawking's warnings about artificial intelligence

The scientist, who died on Wednesday, warned about the development of this technology.
Stephen Hawking was a renowned theoretical physicist, astrophysicist, cosmologist and British scientific popularizer.

" The success in the creation of artificial intelligence may be the greatest event in the history of humanity, unfortunately it would also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid risks ", with this phrase, Stephen Hawking, the famous scientist British, exposed in 2014 in a publication in The Independent, the main arguments of its critical position and most of its public warnings of recent years against artificial intelligence (AI for its acronym in English).

Hawking, who died early this morning from March 14 at age 76, warned that the lack of protocols or regulation in the progress of the AI generated many risks. Although in scenarios such as the Web Summit of 2017, the astrophysicist pointed out that these systems could lead to the extermination of the human race if they were not sufficiently controlled, nor did it promote the prohibition of investigations in the field, but rather made a called on the scientific community to seriously study the subject.  

The scientist drew attention to the issue by saying that in understanding the innumerable risks or benefits of AI, there were "few serious investigations of these issues outside of non-profit institutes such as the Cambridge Center for the Study of Existential Risk, the Institute of Future of Humanity, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute and the Future of Life Institute. " 

With the belief that the scientific community was not yet worried enough to keep an autonomous artificial intelligence system under control the day it was discovered, the physicist also published an article in conjunction with the experts Stuart Russell, a computer specialist. , and physicists Max Tegmark and Frank Wilczek.

While the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.

The world-famous physicist was also concerned about the effects of technology on the workforce. Through a column in The Guardian, he warned that artificial intelligence would reduce the jobs of the middle class by increasing automation and worsen inequality. " Factory automation has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and it is likely that the increase in artificial intelligence will extend this job destruction deep into the middle layers, only the care, creative or supervisory roles will remain," reads the published text

The scientist claimed that artificial intelligence would bring radical increases in the efficiency of the industry, but was concerned about ordinary people who were affected by unemployment and uncertainty, since their human jobs would be replaced by machines. 

Centers all over the world have expressed their condolences and have paid homage to Hawking. The Future of Life Institute, of which Hawking was a founding member of the scientific advisory board and with whom he had been conducting research and talks on artificial intelligence and the use of technology to help humanity in the long term, he said in a memorial dedicated to the British scientist: "While we mourn the loss of Stephen Hawking, we must remember that his legacy goes beyond science

" His activism revealed the same visionary intrepidity as his scientific and personal life: he later saw most of those around him and was not afraid to issue a controversial alarm over humanity's careless handling of powerful technology, from nuclear weapons to artificial intelligence, "reads the text posted on its website.

 Hawking also recognized that the potential benefits of AI were enormous and that the eradication of war, disease, and poverty could be prioritized. However, it also alluded to the efforts of some countries in the investigation and implementation of lethal autonomous weapons systems since AI would transform economies at such a speed that it could generate great wealth but also large gaps, citing the study of Erik Brynjolfsson. and Andrew McAfee in The Second Machine Age. 

The scientist also pointed out that it was possible to imagine that the AI perfected itself more than humans had done. With this, he could become more astute than financial markets, could manipulate human leaders or develop unimagined weapons. 

"While the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all, " he said. 

During the Web Summit last year, Hawking was more optimistic. He said he believed in the ability to generate AI and use it for the good of the world and to work harmoniously with humanity. He said: "We need to be aware of the dangers, identify them, act in the best way possible and prepare for their consequences well in advance." EDUCATION 

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