Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has issued yet another warning for Earth and this time, he says we have less than 600 years before the Earth turns into a sizzling fireball.
Hawking says that if we don’t leave Earth soon, overpopulation will increase energy consumption and pretty much kill us all.
But Hawking has a plan. Speaking at the Tencent WE Summit in Beijing, Hawking appealed to investors to back his plans to travel to Alpha Centauri. At around 4 light-years away, it’s the closest star system to our sun.
The venture is called Breakthrough Starshot and it would use a tiny spacecraft that travels at the speed of light.
Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, or reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in under a week and reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years.
"Maybe if all goes well, sometime a little after the middle of the century, we'll have our first picture of another planet that may be life-bearing orbiting the nearest star," Pete Worden, the former head at NASA’s AMES Research Center and Starshot Breakthrough director, said at the summit.
The physicist told WIRED magazine he believes artificial intelligence will eventually become so advanced it will essentially be a "new form of life that will outperform humans."
"I believe there is no deep difference between what can be achieved by a biological brain and what can be achieved by a computer."
"It therefore follows that computers can, in theory, emulate human intelligence - and exceed it."
"Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many."
"And in the future, AI could develop a will of its own - a will that is in conflict with ours."
Stephen Hawking has revealed he strongly believes in aliens and warned that Earth could be at risk from an invasion.
"I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet."
"Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach."
It would be "too risky" to attempt to make contact with alien races, he concluded.
"If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans."
The scientist said that most alien life is likely to consist of small animals or microbes in planets, stars or floating in space.
Hawking said it's not likely that scientists will find intelligent alien life in the next 20 years.
"I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet." Professor Stephen Hawking has warned.
"We face a number of threats: nuclear war, global warming and genetically engineered viruses," said Prof Hawking, speaking to the Radio Times.
"Although the chance of a disaster on planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, becoming a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years."
"By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so it would not mean the end of the human race."
"However, we will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period."
Stephen Hawking has said he believes brains could exist independently of the body, but that the idea of a conventional afterlife is a fairy tale.
Speaking at the premiere of a documentary film about his life, the theoretical physicist said: "I think the brain is like a program in the mind, which is like a computer, so it's theoretically possible to copy the brain on to a computer and so provide a form of life after death.
"However, this is way beyond our present capabilities. I think the conventional afterlife is a fairy tale for people afraid of the dark."
Source:丹妮 from language.chinadaily.com.cn