|By Bob Weaver|
Renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking died.
He had among the world's greatest minds, and in recent years issued warnings about Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking over jobs and the world, related to robotics even taking over menial tasks.
Walmart has a test store where they will have no clerks. Walmart is West Virginia's largest employer.
The AI story was introduced to America by a powerful film "2001, A Space Odyssey," when an onboard spaceship computer attempted to take control.
"My goal is simple," he once said. "It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all."
Hawking acknowledged the mystical connection between physics and the unknown.
The question has been and still remains - where did it start? What started it? Who started it? What was there before? And where is it going?
Fortunately we have theologians who seem to have such answers and understand it and are willing to explain it to us. Surely, we can all mind-buzz with these questions.
Hawking said that when we have the answers, then we will understand God.
It's not likely he found the answer.
In West Virginia, mechanization. artificial intelligence and robotics have eliminated thousands of jobs, including the coal industry.
Hawking, like many scientists, expressed concern over how politicians have usurped science.
In my lifetime I read his books, those written downward for people like me, not possessing a fraction of his mental capacity. It was an exciting adventure, being an old "rocket boy" from Calhoun.
Hawking died at home at age 76 at home in Cambridge, England.
His children Lucy, Robert and Tim issued a statement:
"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world. He once said, 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him forever."
A cause of death was not immediately disclosed. Hawking suffered from ALS that over time led to his paralysis, allowing him to communicate only with a device attached to his cheek muscle.