Professor Stephen Hawking has claimed in an interview with the BBC that artificial intelligence (AI) poses a serious threat to mankind's very existence.
She said: “Although you can’t say it will never happen, it is very very unlikely that AI will end the world. In fact, there are other greater threats to humanity that AI could help solve, and so not developing the technology could pose a bigger danger.
“It’s like saying that you shouldn’t drive your partner to hospital if they’re having a heart attack, because you could crash the car. But if you didn’t drive them, there would be a much greater chance that the consequences would be worse.
“Fundamentally, we are looking at the question the wrong way around – AI isn’t itself a threat, the threat depends on whether it is used in a careless way. It should be treated the same way as any other hazardous technology, and needs regulation to make sure that it is used in a safe way.”
* Listen to Joanna talking about AI on BBC World Service from Tuesday 2 December.
Watch 'Containing the intelligence explosion: the role of transparency' - Joanna's talk at the Oxford Martin School: