Why Stephen Hawking believes the next 100 years may be humanity’s toughest test

Stephen Hawking sits on a stage ahead of the announcement of the Stephen Hawking medal for science, “Starmus,” on Dec. 16 in London. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has made no effort to conceal his fears about the dangers of artificial intelligence, warning on multiple occasions that blindly embracing pioneering technology could trigger humanity’s annihilation. Earlier this month, the 74-year-old Cambridge University professor expounded upon those fears, adding new disasters to his growing list of apocalyptic scenarios that humanity may have to contend with this century, including nuclear war, global warming and genetically engineered viruses, the BBC reported. According to Hawking, there is, however, a glimmer of hope: Leaving the planet behind. “Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds…


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