On Wednesday, Stephen Hawking spoke at the opening of Cambridge University's new artificial intelligence center, which, in part, will investigate potential problems the technology may pose, reports the Telegraph.
In his address, Hawking, a long-time critic of unchecked and poorly considered advances in the area, warned, "The rise of powerful AI will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity."
He indicated that while it may, "finally eradicate disease and poverty," it could, "also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many."
Further, said Hawking, "...in the future, AI could develop a will of its own -– a will that is in conflict with ours."
The astrophysicist applauded the establishment of the Cambridge AI center, noting, "We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity ... so it is a welcome change that people are studying instead the future of intelligence."