Scientist dismisses Stephen Hawking's doomsday predictions

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Renowned neuroscientist Rafael Yuste on Wednesday dismissed the latest doomsday predictions of Stephen Hawking, saying the British astrophysicist "doesn't know what he's talking about."

In a recent lecture in London, Hawking indicated that advances in science and technology will lead to "new ways things can go wrong," especially in the field of artificial intelligence.

Yuste, a Columbia University neuroscience professor, was less pessimistic. "We don't have enough knowledge to be able to say such things," he told Radio Cooperativa in Santiago, Chile.

"We don't know enough about the brain to compare it in such a direct way with a computer and foretell that computers are going to supplant brains," he said.

It is possible that human intelligence depends on the biological material in which it lies, so it cannot be copied to such an extent that the result would make artificial intelligence potentially dangerous, he told the Chilean radio station.

"If you look at the history of science or medicine, it is a history of one success after another, and it has freed humanity from these atavistic ties. We are beginning to cure most diseases that affect humans, and I predict the same thing will happen to the brain," said Yuste.

This progress "is going to benefit humankind. It won't be the end of humankind, but on the contrary, it will be a new beginning," he said.

Yuste recently helped launch the Brain Activity Map, a large-scale project to develop tools to systematically record and manipulate the activity of complete neural circuits. Endi

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