'I think the development of full Artificial Intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow, biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded.'
Stephen Hawking's dire warning has fallen on stony ground for Florida pastor Reverend Christopher Benek. Far from it, Rev. Benek believes that we should embrace robots as our brothers and even convert them into Christians.
'I don't see Christ's redemption limited to human beings,' he said in an interview. 'It's redemption of all creation, even Artificial Intelligence (AI).'
He also surmises that AI may one day 'lead humans to new levels of holiness.'
He could have a point. But why limit ourselves to baptising robots? What about robot marriages (or at least civil partnerships)? Inter-AI marriages - a photocopier to a shredding machine? Will we need Pre-natal Clinics for Pregnant Computers? Where will it end? Reverend Benek may have opened up an ethical as well as a technological can of worms.