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Stephen Hawking: People Must Control Aggression

First Posted: Mar 09, 2017 05:28 AM EST
2017 Breakthrough Prize - Show
Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking appears onscreen during the 2017 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center.
(Photo : Kimberly White/Getty Images)

It may be a bit of a basic life advice. However, physicist Stephen Hawking had to remind people in an interview that the pace of technological advancement means that humans must learn to gain control over their base animal instincts if they want to survive.

According to Prof. Stephen Hawking, humanity has honed its instincts to survive and will continue on doing so. However, he also noted that aggression had been useful in terms of survival advantages, but that it has been hard-wired into the genes, thanks to Darwinian evolution. Unfortunately, as stated by The Independent, people are at a point where technology has advanced at such a pace where aggression may destroy us instead of saving us. Therefore, people need to control such inherited instinct by their own logic and reason.

Prof. Stephen Hawking also suggested "some form of world government" to help do the job. But such action in itself could cause more problems. And yet, he maintained his optimism by pointing out that the human race can rise up to the occassion and not let such a thing turn into tyranny. "All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist," he said.

KRMG noted that this is not the first time the physicist spoke about humanity needing to be aware and cautious to ensure its survival. As early as last year, he predicted that humanity would see a catastrophic disaster within 1,000 years if we fail to establish colonies on other planets.

Prof. Stephen Hawking also noted in an AMA on Reddit that artificial intelligence (AI) could one day surpass our own. He noted that it would not be malice that will help AI take over the world but the competence of the AI itself. "A super intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren't aligned with ours, we're in trouble," he shared.

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