Stephen William Hawking born January 8, 1942 and died March 14, 2018 was an English theoretical physicist and Director of Research at the Center for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge, he has been known as the last most prominent scientist of our current era. His scientific works included a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Through several presentations and conversations in public during the recent years before his death, showed concern about how humanity is heading to a destination not necessarily promising. According to Hawking there is a list of potential dangers that can unleash the end of the world or at least the human civilization as we know it.
In 2006 Hawking posted an open question on the Internet as follows: “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?”, later Hawking clarified: “I don’t know the answer. That is why I asked the question, to get people to think about it, and to be aware of the dangers we now face.”
Hawking expressed concern that life on Earth is at risk from a sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or global warming among other dangers humans have not yet being known. Such a planet-wide disaster need not result in human extinction if the human race were to be able to colonise additional planets before the disaster. Hawking was a vigorous supporter of spaceflight and the colonisation of space as necessary endeavors to ensure our future as species.
Hawking stated that, given the vastness of the universe, aliens likely exist, but that contact with them should be avoided. He warned that aliens might pillage Earth for resources. In 2010 he stated in his own words “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.”
ABOUT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Hawking warned that super-intelligent artificial intelligence could be pivotal in steering humanity’s fate, stating that “the potential benefits are huge… Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. It might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.” In addition he argued that computer viruses should be considered a new form of life, and stated that “maybe it says something about human nature, that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive.
This hazard fell into same category as climate change and pandemic, used by Hawking to make the broader point of a need to evacuate our planet.He has repeatedly urged the importance of colonising Mars and the Moon, an achievement which currently lies way beyond our horizon. As per Hawking´s own words: “The Earth is becoming too small for us,” he told the Starmus science festival in Norway. “Our physical resources are being drained at an alarming rate.”
ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING
Hawking, who says “we are close to the tipping point” at which it becomes irreversible, says we risk turning our own planet into one like Venus. Venus, the second planet from our Sun which is with a 250C atmosphere.