Today in the tech world, the biggest threat we face comes from hackers.
Tomorrow, the biggest threat might be scarier than just having your personal information or money stolen. If Stephen Hawking is right, it will be even scarier than hacked baby monitors and compromised toilets.
According to Hawking - one of the most brilliant minds ever - the biggest existential threat facing humanity isn't terrorism, global warming or plague. It's artificial intelligence.
Yes, he believes super-intelligent robots could be the death of us all. He told the BBC:
"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
And he's not alone in his line of thinking. Elon Musk recently came out and warned against the same thing, calling it "our biggest existential threat" and saying that we are "summoning the demon."
Hawking's comments come after he received an upgrade on his speech software known as Cleverbot, which uses a basic form of artificial intelligence to try and predict what Hawking wants to say next.
Hawking says the AI already here is useful, but for how long?
Hawking says the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful, but he fears these forms could soon become smarter than humans.
"It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate," he said. "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded."
But aren't as gloomy with their predictions. Rollo Carpenter, creator of Cleverbot, told the BBC:
"I believe we will remain in charge of the technology for a decently long time and the potential of it to solve many of the world problems will be realised. ... "We cannot quite know what will happen if a machine exceeds our own intelligence, so we can't know if we'll be infinitely helped by it, or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it."
What do you think? Will AI be the death of us all? Let me know your thoughts and opinions by posting in the comments below.