The robot revolution could bring about the end of humanity as we know it, professor Stephen Hawking has warned.
In an interview with the BBC he warned that "the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race".
He was responding to a question about the artificial intelligence technology which he uses to speak.
Scientific advancements mean that robots are continually getting smarter and in June this year, a computer programme became the first to pass the so-called "Turing test".
The test, which was devised by Alan Turing in the 1950s, measures a machine's intelligence by requiring it to fool 30 per cent of human judges into thinking it is a real person.
Professor Stephen Hawking said:
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Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded.
He is not the first public figure to raise alarms over the threat posed to mankind by artificial intelligence.
In October Elon Musk warned students that "we should be very careful about how we use artificial intelligence", adding it could be humanity's "biggest existential threat".
He added: "With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there's the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it's like yeah he's sure he can control the demon. Didn't work out."