Categories: InnovationScience

Czech Mate: World’s Greatest Chess Player Slams Musk And Hawking Doomsday Predictions

Former world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, has ridiculed Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk for proclaiming that robots will soon rule the world.

Professor Hawking has warned that artificial intelligence will take over the world within the next 100 years, saying: “It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate.

“Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superceded.”

End of the world

Musk, the founder of SpaceX and a co-founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors, has also warned that the end is nigh.

Elon Musk

In 2014, he stated: “With artificial intelligence we’re summoning the demon. You know those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram, and the holy water and he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.”

But Kasparov, who in 1997 lost a chess game to IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, believes computers could never supercede humans.

Speaking at the opening of antivirus firm Avast’s new headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, Kasparov said: “So many times in the past we’ve heard warnings about the end of the world because of technology.

“We heard these stories about technology taking over and the end of the world, from the first creation of machines. It didn’t happen and I don’t think it will happen.”

The danger, he said, is not from computers but from humans themselves.

He said: “The danger is from bad guys using computers to impose their will on us. A computing device is agnostic – it’s neither good nor bad. You can use a smartphone for business purposes, to make financial transactions, to exchange cultural information and knowledge. But, unfortunately, you could also use it to build a terrorist network. So the real danger is from humans, not from machines becoming ultra powerful and taking over.

“With all due respect to Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, what they’ve said is more like a PR stunt rather than a scientific forecast.

“I also think it plays well now with the minds of the mainstream public because if you look at the development of science fiction over the past 50-60 years you can see there was a very positive outlook in the 1950s and 1960. We would fly to the stars and colonise other planets.”

Then this changed with the likes of Terminator, he said.

“So the way people see the future, the idea that has been developed over the past 30 years or so, is negative. We now feel machines threaten us.”

But humans are machines are a winning combination, according to Kasparov.

“In chess today, I believe the most advanced computers in the world cannot be beaten by humans. But give a good chess player even the most basic computer to work with and they will be any supercomputer every time.

“Our future will not be about technology taking over, but humans using technology to do great things.”

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Duncan Macrae

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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