In the hours since the news of his death broke, fans have been resurfacing some of their favorite quotes of his, including those from his Reddit AMA two years ago.
He wrote confidently about the imminent development of human-level AI and warned people to prepare for its consequences:
“When it eventually does occur, it’s likely to be either the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity, so there’s huge value in getting it right.”
When asked if human-created AI could exceed our own intelligence, he replied:
It’s clearly possible for a something to acquire higher intelligence than its ancestors: we evolved to be smarter than our ape-like ancestors, and Einstein was smarter than his parents. The line you ask about is where an AI becomes better than humans at AI design, so that it can recursively improve itself without human help. If this happens, we may face an intelligence explosion that ultimately results in machines whose intelligence exceeds ours by more than ours exceeds that of snails.
As for whether that same AI could potentially be a threat to humans one day?
“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,” he wrote. “This can cause problems for humans whose resources get taken away.”