So Stephen Hawking saw Transcendence, I assume because he’s a big fan of Johnny Depp and it sort of deals with topics in his wheelhouse. But unlike the bulk of peons who watched and thought the self aware plot of the film was a bit silly, Hawking saw a cautionary tale about the perils of artificial intelligence. From The Daily Mail:
In an article written in the Independent, Nobel Prize-winning physicist discusses Jonny Depp’s latest film Transcendence, which delves into a world where computers can surpass the abilities of humans.
Professor Hawking said dismissing the film as science fiction could be the ‘worst mistake in history’.
He argues that developments in digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now and Cortana are merely symptoms of an IT arms race which ‘pale against what the coming decades will bring.’
But Professor Hawking notes that other potential benefits of this technology could also be significant, with the potential to eradicate, war, disease and poverty.
‘Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history,’ he said. ‘Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.’
I always like the way that Hawking seems to take the really creative opinion on topics that usually fuel science fiction. Of course A.I. is a far more possible reality, the same can’t be said for alien life and time travelers.
I’m not saying I don’t believe, it’s just that the proof of what could be achieved isn’t fully within our grasp yet. We’ve never publicly ran into an alien and time travelers still haven’t shown up at Hawking’s birthday party. But we have seen a robot handily win at Jeopardy!, so I’ll buy into this idea.