Late Physicist Stephen Hawking Predicted Race of "Superhumans"

James Marshall
October 16, 2018

Acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking's last message to the universe is a plea for unity in the "isolated and insular" age of Brexit and Trump, and his fear that a "global revolt against experts" might get in the way of finding the next Einstein to solve our biggest problems.

Those without the means will become relegated to a sub-class of "unimproved humans", he suggests in Brief Answers To The Big Questions due out this week.

Al Jazeera's Catherine Stancl was at the book's launch at the London Science Museum. "I feel sometimes like he's still here because we talk about him and we see images of him, and then we have the reminder that he's left us".

The cosmologist was propelled to stardom by his 1988 book A Brief History of Time, an unlikely worldwide bestseller.

Brief Answers To The Big Questions is published by John Murray, priced £14.99.

How did it all begin?

While AI could be hugely beneficial for reducing poverty, disease and restoring the natural environment, it's impossible to predict "what we might achieve when our own minds are amplified by AI".

As he's discussed before, that dubious honor likely falls to a super-intelligent AI with risky capabilities and goals that do not align with those of humans - or some kind of planetary disaster that extinguishes life on Earth before humans have had a chance to jump ship. We have just one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe.

Will artificial intelligence outsmart us? "Unleash your imagination. Shape the future".

Stephen Hawking writes in a posthumous book, according to The Sunday Times.

He says computers will overtake humans in intelligence during the next 100 years, but "we will need to ensure that the computers have goals aligned with ours".

Stephen Hawking, one of the world's best-known theoretical physicists who died seven months ago, had warned against a new race of "superhumans" created as a result of genetic engineering that could destroy humanity from beyond the grave.

Hawking's predictions stem from gene-editing technology that already exists.

"We are.in danger of becoming culturally isolated and insular and increasingly remote from where progress is being made", he said.

In his final academic paper, Hawking shed new light on black holes and the information paradox, with new work calculating the entropy of black holes.

"It was very emotional".

His daughter Lucy was asked how if felt to hear her father once again.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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