If you are one of those who have always wanted to ask Stephen Hawking questions about the universe or the dangers of Artificial Intelligence, you are in luck. The British cosmologist, widely acknowledged as one of the smartest persons on the planet, will be taking questions from the public in his first ever Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) beginning Monday, July 27.
Not only would the event mark Hawking’s debut on the platform, it would also be the longest AMA in Reddit history. Unlike the usual AMAs that typically last a few hours, Hawking would accept questions starting Monday at 8 am EDT through Tuesday, Aug. 4, at reddit.com/r/science. He would then answer these over the next few weeks.
The change in the usual format has been made to allow Hawking -- who suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and communicates through an assisted computer system -- enough time to address all, or most, of the questions.
Hawking's AMA is part of the #maketechhuman initiative -- spearheaded by Nokia and Wired magazine -- that aims to address themes and topics “at the intersection of humanity and technology.” The first AMA on the topic was launched in March and featured Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.
“The #maketechhuman debate that Nokia has enabled is all about ensuring that technology serves humanity, in the right way,” Nokia Chief Marketing Officer Barry French reportedly said in a statement released Friday. “I cannot imagine a better person to add value to this discussion than Professor Hawking.”
Hawking, who, along with the likes of Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak, has warned against developing "full Artificial Intelligence," is expected to tackle questions on the issue during the AMA.
Musk, the founder of SpaceX and the CEO of Tesla Motors, already appeared in a Reddit AMA earlier this year, where he reiterated his warning about Artificial Intelligence and talked about SpaceX’s planned missions to Mars.