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Stephen Hawking fields questions on artificial intelligence

LONDON (AP) — Have a question about artificial intelligence and think theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is the man to ask?

Hawking is giving the Internet-going public a rare chance to pose direct questions to him on Reddit, the user-powered news and discussion forum.

The celebrity scientist is speaking on the perils and promises of artificial intelligence, a topic of lively interest as self-driving cars take to the streets.

The 73-year-old Hawking frequently makes public appearances, but he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or motor neuron disease, which makes giving spontaneous answers to questions difficult. Most Reddit question-and-answer sessions wrap up quickly, but this one is being extended over several weeks to give Hawking time to respond.

There were already thousands of comments on Monday, a few hours after the forum was opened for discussion.

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