I knew it — the robot apocalypse is nigh. And now I have proof. Well, sort of. The man whose name is synonymous with science, Stephen Hawking, has warned against artificial intelligence yet again, and his projections seem to be getting more and more ominous. This time, Hawking told the BBC that artificial intelligence could essentially wipe out mankind as we know it. And if Professor Hawking says it, it must be true, right? OK, maybe that's being hyperbolic (but probably not), but what about when a whole slew of scientists and experts issue the same warning? We should all start preparing for the machine takeover now, right?
The discussion of cybernetic revolts came up when the BBC asked Hawking in an interview about the technology that helps him communicate. Hawking, who has the motor neuron disease ALS, speaks through a system designed by Intel, which relies on basic AI. This prompted the theoretical physicist to bring up the scarier side AI, particularly if it becomes advanced. Basically, he said, if machines exceed us in intelligence, they would start reproducing at a rate that would leave human reproduction in the dust, and therefore replace us as the Earth's inhabitants. In other words, Terminator.
And Hawking is far from alone in his fears. In fact, some of the world's most preeminent scientists and engineers share the same terrifying visions of a robot-dominated future. Here's what they had to say — and why we should all be unplugging our machines more often.