1. ITV Report

The most intriguing mystery in the world? Women, says Professor Stephen Hawking

Professor Stephen Hawking finds women a mystery Credit: REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Professor Stephen Hawking has revealed the 'one mystery' he finds most intriguing in the world is women.

The 73-year-old physicist, who has come up with theories to explain some of biggest questions about the universe, made the admission that he found the opposite sex puzzling after a Reddit user asked him "what is the one mystery that you find most intriguing, and why?".

He said: "Women. My PA reminds me that although I have a PhD in physics women should remain a mystery."

And Hawking's tongue in cheek answer definitely got people talking both on Reddit and Twiiter:

In a smilar vein of honesty Hawking also let Reddit get a glimpse into his personal world by revealing his favourite song, movie and online viewing.

Three things AMA readers discovered about Professor Hawking:

  • Favourite song: 'Have I Told You Lately' by Rod Stewart
  • Favourite movie: Jules et Jim, 1962
  • Last 'hilarious' thing seen online: The Big Bang Theory

Joking aside though Hawking also had some more serious thoughts to share with readers of his 'ask me anything' session.

Addressing the issue of Artificial Intelligence, an issue he has long been vocal about, he warned that "the real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence" and stated it could "either the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity".

A superintelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble.

You’re probably not an evil ant-hater who steps on ants out of malice, but if you’re in charge of a hydroelectric green energy project and there’s an anthill in the region to be flooded, too bad for the ants. Let’s not place humanity in the position of those ants.

– Stephen Hawking

The main problem with artificial intelligence he stressed would most likely arise from it developing its own "drive to survive" which could conflict with the needs of humans.

As emphasized by Steve Omohundro, an extremely intelligent future AI will probably develop a drive to survive and acquire more resources as a step toward accomplishing whatever goal it has, because surviving and having more resources will increase its chances of accomplishing that other goal.

This can cause problems for humans whose resources get taken away.

– Stephen Hawking