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Stephen Hawking accused science fiction writers of not understanding imaginary time and predicted the victory of robots

On June 15, the famous physicist Stephen Hawking became a guest of the Last Week Tonight show on HBO, where he gave an interview to comedian John Oliver, talking about the main, in his opinion, problem of all science fiction writers and the dangers of creating artificial intelligence. This is reported by  CNET .

To Oliver’s question that, according to Hawking, all people need to understand, the physicist categorically answered: “Imaginary time.” He compared this concept with another direction in space and complained that science fiction writers do not use this part of his research because they do not understand.

Imaginary time (in this case, the word “imaginary” does not mean “fictional”) is a concept in quantum mechanics that is visualized using an axis perpendicular to the axis of normal time, going from past to present. 

Hawking believes that imaginary time is probably true, because it is more suitable for describing the laws of the Universe, and “present” time is only our subjective idea.

When the conversation turned to artificial intelligence, Hawking noted that in the future this technology could become a source of great danger even in the hands of “good guys from Google.” The physicist believes that at a certain point robots will learn to improve themselves independently and will eventually become smarter than humans.

When Oliver asked why he should not be inspired by the battle with the robot, Hawking replied: “You will lose.” The presenter joked that perhaps the famous physicist was already talking to him, but the robot that replaced him, for which Stephen called him an idiot.

In the end, Oliver asked if there were parallel universes, where he is smarter than Stephen Hawking, to which the scientist replied: “Yes. And then there are universes where you are joking funny. ”

On June 9, world media spread the  news that the Russian program managed to pass a Turing test to determine the “humanity” of a computer, but after a few days, anumber of denials appeared on the network  indicating that the verification process was imperfect.

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