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Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category

Sep 11, 2019

Joe Rogan Experience #1350 — Nick Bostrom

Posted by in categories: ethics, existential risks, neuroscience

Nick Bostrom is a Swedish philosopher at the University of Oxford known for his work on existential risk, the anthropic principle, human enhancement ethics, superintelligence risks, and the reversal test.

Sep 9, 2019

Russian x-risks newsletter, summer 2019

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military, policy

This is the first Russian x-risks newsletter, which will present news about Russia and global catastrophic risks from the last 3 months.

Given the combination of high technological capabilities, poor management, high risk tolerance and attempts to catch up with West and China in the military sphere, Russia is prone to technological catastrophes. It has a 10 times higher level of aviation catastrophes and car accidents than developed countries.

Thus it seems possible that a future global catastrophe may be somehow connected with Russia. However, most of the work in global catastrophic and existential risk (x-risks) prevention and policy efforts are happening in the West, especially in US, UK and Sweden. Even the best policies adopted by the governments of these countries may not help if a catastrophe occurs in another country or countries.

Sep 6, 2019

Asteroid collision with Earth ruled out

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

AN ASTEROID which came crashing into Earth and NASA had no idea it was coming reiterates the need to keep a closer eye on the sky in case a massive space rock comes hurtling towards our planet.

Aug 23, 2019

Why superintelligence is a threat that should be taken seriously

Posted by in categories: existential risks, robotics/AI

Circa 2017


In a recent article for Skeptic, Michael Shermer (the magazine’s founding publisher) put forth an argument for “why AI is not an existential threat,” where “AI” stands for “artificial intelligence” and an “existential threat” is anything that could cause human extinction or the irreversible decline of civilization.

Aug 21, 2019

Japan warns North Korea now has miniaturized nukes

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military

North Korea has miniaturised nuclear warheads and made them small enough to fit on ballistic missiles, Japan believes.

Tokyo defence chiefs warn in a new white paper that North Korea’s military activities pose a ‘serious and imminent threat’.

Continue reading “Japan warns North Korea now has miniaturized nukes” »

Aug 18, 2019

Asteroid warning: Space rock comparable to dinosaur killer is heading Earth’s way

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

A MASSIVE asteroid comparable to the massive space rock which brought the dinosaurs’ reign on Earth to an end is hurtling towards Earth, and scientists have confirmed it is “potentially hazardous”.

Aug 15, 2019

The Atlantic: It’s Possible Dinosaurs Had a Whole Civilization

Posted by in category: existential risks

Even the fallout from a Triassic nuclear war would have vanished without a trace by now.

Aug 14, 2019

6 Extinct Animals That Could Be Brought Back to Life

Posted by in category: existential risks

There are some extinct species — such as the woolly mammoth, shown above — that may be brought back to life if scientists can overcome some practical hurdles and thorny ethical questions. This gallery shows six of the species that researchers talked about reviving at a March 2013 forum called TEDxDeExtinction in Washington, D.C.

This photo shows a museum worker inspecting a replica of a woolly mammoth.

Thylacines, or Tasmanian tigers, were found throughout most of the Australian island of Tasmania before Europeans settled there in 1803.

Aug 14, 2019

Future Bioweapons Could Kill People With Specific DNA

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks, genetics, robotics/AI

In the future, we may have to deal with biological weapons that target specific groups of people, passing over everyone else.

That’s according to a new report out of Cambridge University’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk reviewed by The Telegraph. In it, the Cambridge researchers argue that world governments have failed to prepare for futuristic weapons based on advanced technology like artificial intelligence and genetic manipulation — or even a killer pathogen designed to kill only people of a particular race.

Jul 29, 2019

A huge asteroid flew very close to Earth last week. How did we miss it?

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

The asteroid managed to get within just 73,000 kilometers of our planet without anyone noticing. The miss lends a new sense of urgency to preparations for a potential collision one day.

The news: On Thursday July 25 an asteroid dubbed “Asteroid 2019 OK”, measuring 57 to 130 meters wide (187 to 427 feet), got uncomfortably close to Earth, according to NASA’s near-Earth objects database. It was less than one-fifth of the distance to the moon away, making it a very close call in space terms. If it had landed on a populated area it could have caused major damage, although this outcome is statistically quite unlikely.

Should we worry? It’s hard not to feel concerned that a “city-killer” sized asteroid wasn’t detected further ahead of time. It was announced just hours before it passed by Earth, after being detected just a few days beforehand by teams in the US and Brazil. Its relatively small size, unusual orbit, and fast speed all conspired to make it tough to spot, researchers told the Washington Post.

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