Robots may completely replace humans in future, warns Stephen Hawking

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New Delhi : Artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually reach a level where it will essentially be a "new form of life that will outperform humans", believes renowned physicist Prof Stephen Hawking.

In an interview with WIRED magazine, Prof Hawking said, "I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that improves and replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans."

The author of A Brief History of Time had last year said that he believes that there was 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.

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"Artificial intelligence is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, or a computer winning at the game of Go, are signs of what is to come.

"Enormous levels of investment are pouring into this technology. The achievements we have seen so far will surely pale against what the coming decades will bring,” Prof Hawking said during the launch of Cambridge University's artificial intelligence centre last year. 

It is noteworthy that recently Saudi Arabia became the first country to give citizenship to a female robot.