Stephen Hawking has claimed that if we were ever to make contact with extra-terrestrial life, it will probably end in our destruction. Oh great.
It’s not the first time the famed astrophysicist has talked about the dangers of making contact with aliens. Back in 2010, Hawking warned that intelligent life forms in our solar system would most likely be looking to conquer and colonise our planet should they be given such an opportunity.
Hawking has now reiterated his fears in a new video posted online entitled Stephen Hawking’s Favourite Places. In the video he talks about a planet known as Gliese 832c, a planet some 16 light years away from Earth that could contain alien life.
“One day we might receive a signal from a planet like Gliese 832c, but we should be wary of answering back” Hawking said.
“Any civilisation that could actually read a message we sent out would need to be billions of years ahead of us. If so they will be vastly more powerful and may not see us any more valuable than we see bacteria”. Ominous words indeed.
Before we start worrying about Independence Day-esque alien invasions though, Hawking is quick to remind us that we are far more likely to be wiped out by artificial intelligence.
“A super intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if these goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble.”
Robots or aliens? Either way we’re pretty much doomed.
Loaded digital reporter Oli Palmer has been writing about film/TV since 2013. Follow Oli on Twitter at @olipalmer