The much-awaited Q&A session on the popular Reddit forum officially started on Monday, July 27 and one day later, the page numbered approximately 8,000 questions. As expected, the first questions at Stephen Hawking’s AMA week on Reddit were related to the importance of Artificial Intelligence and the impact it could have on humanity.
Stephen Hawking agreed to take part in an unprecedented event this week by holding an online scientific conference on Reddit. The session is called Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) and is expected to see the participation of many members of the scientific community, as well as fans of the physicist.
Unlike other Reddit instances of communication, Stephen Hawking’s discussion will follow different rules. According to spokespersons’ declarations, the Q&A will last one week because the scientist needs time to be able to provide answers to everyone. The week will be divided into two main parts, a first part during which participants will ask question and the second part of the week, when the physicist will write his answers.
The project, which was conceived as a collaboration between Wired and Nokia to promote the #MakeTechHuman initiative has triggered many people’s attention. Reddit has been assaulted by many fans and by early Tuesday morning the forum had already registered 8,000 comments and questions.
By looking at some of the topics that members have suggested, we can easily assume that Artificial Intelligence is the main topic of discussion. Most participants have asked Hawking about the advantages of AI on humans’ lives, while others have asked him to provide evidence that the development of such robotic projects would not lead to the destruction of humanity as a result of their lack of empathy and comprehension.
Some questions were also related to astronomy and, more particularly, to the evolution of black holes. The recent funding for research on extraterrestrial activity was again tackled by many scientists taking part in the forum discussion.
While most members in the Q&A session have scientific backgrounds, some participants were less interested in physics and preferred to ask Stephen Hawking more personal questions. Individuals suffering from the same condition as the physicist have asked Hawking to name a few of the changes he would make to improve their status and condition.
The AMA week on Reddit may not offer solutions to the big mysteries of the space, but it will certainly make Stephen Hawking much more popular. By answering questions related to his favorite joke or to the choices he has made in life, Stephen Hawking will most certainly win lots of appreciation on behalf of his fellow researchers and fans.
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