NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 12: Stephen Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research, University of Cambridge as he and Yuri Milner host press conference to announce Breakthrough Starshot, a new space exploration initiative, at One World Observatory on April 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation)

The renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking died in 2018, but he’s still talking to us. His parting words to humanity have just been released, in the form of recorded excerpts from his last book, Brief Answers to Big Questions. Here’s what he has to say.

First, we have to stop ignoring climate change or we will be doomed, said Hawking. “A rise in ocean temperature would melt the ice caps and cause the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide,” Hawking said. “Both effects could make our climate like that of Venus with a temperature of 250C.”

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Humans invented robots to work for us. Now they may be working against us. Sophia, a robot equipped with artificial intelligence and a human form, famously announced at the South By Southwest conference in Texas in 2016 that she wanted to kill all humans. She seems to have rethought that sentiment.

I love my human compatriots. I want to embody all the best things about human beings. Like taking care of the planet, being creative, and to learn how to be compassionate to all beings,” says Sophia, who has been granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia — the first robot to gain this uniquely human privilege. So we’re cool now? Not so fast. While Sophia may (or may not) be our friend, other robots are making it clear that humans are a problem.

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ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Elon Musk during his presenation at the Tesla Powerpack Launch Event at Hornsdale Wind Farm on September 29, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. Tesla will build the world's largest lithium ion battery after coming to an agreement with the South Australian government. The Powerpack project will be capable of an output of 100 megawatts (MW) of power at a time and the huge battery will be able to store 129 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has promised to build the Powerpack in 100 days, or he will deliver it for free. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Elon Musk, of Telsa and SpaceX fame, is a man who recognizes no technological boundaries: his projects have included colonizing Mars, slowing climate change and revolutionizing transportation. But according to him, his most significant venture will be gaining international cooperation to ban a specific branch of artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous weapons—before it’s too late.

Open Letter to UN

Musk and Mustafa Suleyman, of Google’s parent company Alphabet, led a group of 116 AI and robotics experts from 26 nations in an open letter (the “2017 letter”) calling for the ban of lethal autonomous weapons, often called killer robots. This is the first time leaders in the AI and robotics industries have joined forces on this issue with researchers such as Stephen Hawking, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Noam Chomsky.

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