Stephen Hawking Warns: Talking To Aliens Is Risky

First Posted: Nov 23, 2016 04:30 AM EST

There had been speculations that aliens could contact humans on Earth in the future, that is if they truly exist. According to renowned English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, caution should be practiced before talking to extraterrestrial beings.

Hawking is part of the Breakthrough Listen, which is a project to develop sensitive radio receivers that can listen in on alien civilizations in space. On the other hand, Breakthrough Message aims to design a form of a digital message that humans could send to aliens, in the hopes of contacting them in the future.

Use The Ears, But Not The Mouth

Prof. Hawking said that he wants humans to just listen to extraterrestrial beings, but not talk to them, The Conversation reports. His comments were influenced by the fear of what aliens might do if they found Earth and humans. It is like describing how the Spanish Conquistador, Hernán Cortés, found the Aztecs in central America or when Columbus found the Native Americans.

"As I grow older I am more convinced than ever that we are not alone. After a lifetime of wondering, I am helping to lead a new global effort to find out," Hawking said in a video, as reported by The Independent.

"The Breakthrough Listen project will scan the nearest million stars for signs of life, but I know just the place to start looking. One day we might receive a signal from a planet like Gliese 832c, but we should be wary of answering back," he added.

This is in contrast with that Prof. Hawking said last year when he helped establish the Breakthrough Listen projet. He said that the aliens would not be interested in killing humans because they would probably have no interest in the race at all.

"The real risk with AI isn't malice but competence. 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," Hawking said last year.

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics