Stephen Hawking’s AMA Was Mind-Blowingly Interesting – Here Are Our 7 Favorite Moments

Notable theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author took part in his first ever Reddit AMA.

Unlike other AMA’s, this one was handled differently, with questions being collected in late July and the answers finally published today, due to Hawking’s obvious limitations and time constraints.

We took the the liberty of rounding up a few of the more intriguing replies, but you can enjoy the full discussion at this link

1.On The Media And AI

Whenever I teach AI, my class and I end up having what I call "The Terminator Conversation." My point in this conversation is that the dangers from AI are overblown by media and non-understanding news. How would you represent your own beliefs to my class? Are our viewpoints reconcilable? Do you think my habit of discounting the layperson Terminator-style "evil AI" is naive? And finally, what morals do you think I should be reinforcing to my students interested in AI?

2.Will Machines Cause A Rise In Unemployment?

Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?

3.The Immidiate and Distant Future Of AI

The idea of a “conscious” or actual intelligent system which could pose an existential threat to humans still seems very foreign to me, and does not seem to be something we are even close to cracking. What I wanted to ask was, in your message aimed at warning us about the threat of intelligent machines, are you talking about current developments, or are you trying to say we should be preparing early for what will inevitably come in the distant future?

4.AI Basic Instincts

I've thought lately about biological organisms' will to survive and reproduce, and how that drive evolved over millions of generations. Would an AI have these basic drives, and if not, would it be a threat to humankind?

5.Remember Me?

Professor Hawking, in 1995 I was at a video rental store in Cambridge. My parents left myself and my brother sitting on a bench watching a TV playing Wayne's World 2. (We were on vacation from Canada.) Your nurse wheeled you up and we all watched about 5 minutes of that movie together. My father, seeing this, insisted on renting the movie since if it was good enough for you it must be good enough for us. Any chance you remember seeing Wayne's World 2?


What is your favorite song ever written and why?

What is your favorite movie of all time and why?

What was the last thing you saw on-line that you found hilarious?

7.The Greatest Mystery Of All

What is the one mystery that you find most intriguing, and why?

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