Just finished reading this. .
I am such a fanboy. I remember when I received his autobiography as a kid, I completed it in a day. . "Brief Answers to Big Questions" is literally what the title says. Every chapter deals with a big question, and what follows is Hawking's educated opinion on the topics. .
A major chunk of this book focuses on questions about Physics(obviously?) What's inside a Black hole? Is there a God? Can we predict the future? Is time travel possible? Will we survive on Earth? .
This one was like a culmination of all his books. If someone had to skip reading the rest of his books and read just one book to get an idea about what SH is all about, the first part of Brief Answers to Big Questions is what I would recommend. .
Reading this was like a walk through my childhood. My brain was referencing me back to the old days where I had read about these concepts in SH's books like "The Grand Design", "A Brief History of Time", "The Universe in a Nutshell" etc. .
The latter half focuses on his thoughts about the future of humanity and subsequently the factors that affect it. .
Hawking's valid fear of AI is clearly reflected in the book. I'd like to quote him to sum it up: "The short term future of AI depends on who controls it. The long term future of AI depends on whether it is controllable at all"
He really emphasizes on AI Ethics and safety. I loved the part where he said "The Future of Education is online". Hell yes it is! .
He urges the next generation(us!) to try space exploration, with brief paragraphs on Brain-Computer Interfaces and Gene Editing (CRISPR). .
Overall, as a science nerd, I loved this book. I urge you to read it as well, regardless of your technical/scientific background. Read the latter half, it gives you the perspective of an ingenious physicist on things that matter in the near future. .
I miss you, Dr. Stephen William Hawking. But I'm sure he is loving it among the stars ✨