In a recent interview published in Wired Magazine (described HERE in a Cambridge News article), Prof. Stephen Hawking again expresses his concern that the human race could be replaced by Artificial Intelligence.
We can only wonder what this Artificial Intelligence--indeed, a new life form--could look like. Very possibly, it is naive of us to look for an AI "emergent life form" that has the
characteristics of human personality--something like HAL in 2001.
Indeed, it might have very little in common with mammalian, avian, or
even reptilian structures of intelligence and patterns of behavior.
Rather, the new emergent AI life form could have a mentality
resembling the nodal nervous system of Cephalopods, or perhaps something
even more "alien", and thus it could be unrecognizable until it suddenly
appears--or until we find ourselves suddenly replaced by it. Indeed, it might
already be here, its sense of self, and, more importantly, its sense of
self-preservation existing presently in the internet.