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Professor Stephen Hawking Claims Humanity May Not Survive the 21st Century

Robot wars: The professor is particularly nervous about a Terminator-style conflict between man and machine

Robot wars: The professor is particularly nervous about a Terminator-style conflict between man and machine

Professor Stephen Hawking has said that the human species could be wiped out within 100 years.  He claimed the next century would be the most dangerous in history, as scientific and technological progress create a number of doomsday scenarios.  The 74-year-old physicist said nuclear weapons and artificially-created viruses posed a particular threat, according to The Guardian.  [2] “We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognise the dangers and control them,” he said in an interview with the Radio Times.  There is hope for our doomed species, the professor continued, as long as we can survive through this particularly dangerous century.

“We will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period,” he added.  But even if we manage to somehow live to see the 22nd or 23rd century, Hawking said disaster was inevitable within ten thousand years.  The professor has a reputation for being a bit of a doom-monger, having claimed that advanced aliens could “conquer and colonise” our planet , [3] suggested artificial intelligence could wipe us off the planet [4] and even warned that racist killer robots could carry out ethnic cleansing campaigns.

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He has dismissed claims that his rather pessimistic predictions make him a party pooper.  “Just because I spend a lot of time thinking doesn’t mean I don’t like parties and getting into trouble,” he added.  Professor Stephen Hawking delivered the BBC Reith Lecture on January 7 this year, which will be broadcast on Radio 4 at 9am on January 26 and February 2. He discussed the issue of black holes and raised the tantalising prospect that“information” may be able to escape these galactic gobblers. [5]

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[1] JASPER HAMILL, Professor Stephen Hawking claims humanity may not survive the 21st century, The Mirror, 07:56, 19 JAN 2016
[2] Ian Sample, Stephen Hawking: Most threats to humans come from science and technology, warns Hawking, The Guardian, Tuesday 19 January 2016 00.01 GMT
[4] JASPER HAMILL, Professor Stephen Hawking reveals the ‘most intriguing mystery’ in the universe, The Mirror, 19:25, 8 OCT 2015 UPDATED 19:36, 8 OCT 2015

 

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