In 2010, Professor Stephen Hawking told Larry King, “Mankind is in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity.
Six years on, the world-renowned physicist has told King he feels little has changed.
“We have certainly not become less greedy or less stupid. Six years ago, I was warning about pollution and overcrowding, they have gotten worse since then.”
“The population has grown by half a billion since our last interview, with no end in sight. At this rate, it will be eleven billion by 2100. Air pollution has increased by 8 percent over the past five years. More than 80 percent of inhabitants of urban areas are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution."
Pollution and overpopulation aren’t Hawking’s only concerns, with the theoretical physicist also warning about the dangers of artificial intelligence.
“Artificial intelligence has the potential to evolve faster than the human race. Beneficially AI could co-exist with humans. Once machines reach the critical stage of being able to evolve themselves, we cannot predict whether their goals will be the same as ours.”
The legendary scientist has beaten the odds, living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for more than fifty years. Most with the condition die of respiratory failure within five years.
When asked what keeps him going, Hawking replied, “There are questions I want to answer."
"Why do the universe and all the laws of nature exist? Are they necessary? In one sense they are, because otherwise we wouldn't be here to ask the question. But is there a deeper reason?"