We mourn the passing of Stephen Hawking, an intellectual titan who dedicated his life to understanding the cosmos and our place in it. His ideas revolutionized cosmology and many other scientific fields, including artificial intelligence. In a November interview, Stephen Hawking said that “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.” He believed that AI will be “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity,” but remained hopeful that it can be used to improve our world.
Although he has passed away, his groundbreaking ideas live on. We at AIWS share his concerns about the future of AI, as well as his hopes that it can be used for the betterment of humankind. Max Tegmark, author of the best-seller Life 3.0 and a colleague of Professor Hawking’s, will work to us and bring his ideas to AIWS and speak at our BGF-G7 Summit Conference this April. In 2017, Boston Global Forum recognized Professor Hawking as a Distinguished Global Citizenship Educator, along with Professor Joseph Nye of Harvard. We will continue to work toward and honor Professor Hawking’s vision for the future.