Stephen Hawking warns without a ‘world government’ technology could wipe out humanity

Stephen Hawking warns without a 'world government' technology could wipe out humanity
Professor Hawking said people need to work together to tackle environmental threats like climate change and diseases

The physicist, who has spoken out about the dangers of artificial intelligence in the past, says a ‘world government’ could be our only hope, reports with reference to Mail Online.

He says our ‘logic and reason’ could be the only way to defeat the growing threat of nuclear or biological war.

‘Since civilisation began, aggression has been useful inasmuch as it has definite survival advantages,’ he told The Times.

‘It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution.

‘Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.’

He suggests that ‘some form of world government’ could be ideal for the job, but would itself create more problems.

‘But that might become a tyranny,’ he added.

‘All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges.’

Recently the Cambridge University physics professor named overpopulation, climate change and diseases as just some of the threats facing our planet.

He said we have developed technology that could destroy Earth, and we must ‘retrain’ for a new world where robots have replaced many everyday jobs.

Writing in a comment article in The Guardian, Professor Hawking explained what worries him about the future of our planet.

‘For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together,’ he said.

‘We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.

‘Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity.

‘We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it.’

‘Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.’

The world-famous physicist has previously issued warnings to the world that robots could wipe out humanity and that leaving Earth is our only hope, and that our days on Earth are numbered.

In September the physicist warned our planet is becoming a dangerous place because of the threat of war or disease.

‘I believe that life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as a sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers,’ he said.

‘I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space.’

Professor Hawking made similar comments earlier this year while recording the BBC’s annual Reith Lectures on January 7.

The lecture explored research into black holes, and his warning was made during questions fielded by audience members.

When asked how the world will end, Hawking said that increasingly, most of the threats humanity faces come from progress in technology.

The scientist, who turned 74 this year, said the threats include nuclear war, catastrophic global warming and genetically engineered viruses.

‘We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognise the dangers and control them,’ he said, speaking to Radio Times ahead of the lecture.

To get away from these threats, humankind will have to colonise other planets, which Hawking believes will take more than a century.

‘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,’ Hawking said.

In July, Professor Hawking and Tesla founder Elon Musk led 1,000 robotics experts in an open letter warning that ‘Autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow’

‘The probable life span of human civilization is much greater if we’re a multi-planet species as opposed to a single-planet species,’ Elon Musk said last year.

‘If we’re a single planet species, then eventually there will be some extinction event,’ Mr Musk said.

His company SpaceX is working to send humans to space.

Last week the firm test fired one of its new Raptor ‘interplanetary transport engines’ which the company will use to carry astronauts to Mars.

The rocket engine is three times more powerful than the one on the Falcon 9 rockets. It will ultimately be used to launch SpaceX’s manned spacecraft off our planet.

Mr Musk, chief executive of SpaceX, said the rocket will be ultimately capable of producing thrust of 690,000lbs over 382 seconds.

The engine is powered using liquid methane and liquid oxygen rather than the kerosene used in the Merlin engines of its Falcon 9 rockets.

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