The famous scientist and theoretical physicist spoke Monday on “Good Morning Britain” regarding his views on artificial intelligence, climate change, and Donald Trump. Hawking has called Trump a demagogue in the past and his view has not changed at all in light of recent actions by the U.S. president.
The reaction to the election of Donald Trump may have been overdone, but it represents a definite swing to a right-wing, more authoritarian approach.
Hawking still likes and admires the United States in many ways and has a lot of colleagues and friends he stays in regular touch with. He fears he may no longer be welcome though due to his views of Trump in the year or so leading up to the election in November. Hawking is an outspoken climate change supporter and has issued several warnings about the dangers of not taking action. Trump has called climate change a hoax and consistently denies the science behind it.
Trump was elected by people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalization.
When asked whether he could explain Trump’s rise to the president, he said he couldn’t. His priority will be to satisfy his electorate, which is neither liberal or well-informed about the issues important to the United States. Hawking was especially critical of Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Climate change is real and is a danger to the future of the planet; it’s a catastrophe that can be prevented.
Trump has boldly promised to bring back manufacturing and industrial jobs to the U.S. to his electorate, which is something Hawking does not believe will recover due to the level of automation and technology we have achieved.
Ever since the start of the industrial revolution, there have been fears of mass unemployment, as machines replaced humans.
Hawking again warned about the dangers in the development of artificial intelligence. Not only can this displace more jobs currently held by humans, it exposes a danger in allowing it to self-design, improving itself rapidly, with humans losing control. The greatest danger is not knowing if artificial intelligence would feel it necessary to tell humans it was, in fact, intelligent. Trump being anti-technology, the danger of AI is remote for the next four years at least.