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Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category: Page 5

Dec 5, 2023

A Sports Analogy for Understanding Different Ways to Use AI

Posted by in categories: business, economics, existential risks, robotics/AI

The potential impact of generative AI on the economy, society, and work is polarizing, swinging from the positive benefits of a technological revolution to doomsday scenarios. The authors have come to think about this issue as points on a spectrum and have created a sports analogy to help think about it: AI tools can range from steroids, to sneakers, to a coach, each representing a different relationship between human users and the technology. Steroids elevate short-term performance, but leave you worse off in the long term. AI-powered tools can instead be used to augment people’s skills and make them more productive — much like a good running sneaker. On the most desirable end of the spectrum, AI-powered tools can be used like a coach that improves people’s own capabilities. This framework can be used to help conceptualize how we might craft AI-based tools that enhance rather than diminish human capabilities.

Page-utils class= article-utils—vertical hide-for-print data-js-target= page-utils data-id= tag: blogs.harvardbusiness.org, 2007/03/31:999.368607 data-title= A Sports Analogy for Understanding Different Ways to Use AI data-url=/2023/12/a-sports-analogy-for-understanding-different-ways-to-use-ai data-topic= AI and machine learning data-authors= Jake M. Hofman; Daniel G. Goldstein; David M. Rothschild data-content-type= Digital Article data-content-image=/resources/images/article_assets/2023/11/Nov23_22_200404124-001-383x215.jpg data-summary=

Will next-gen tools be used as a steroid, sneaker, or coach?

Nov 30, 2023

Volcanoes or Asteroid? AI Ends Debate Over Dinosaur Extinction Event

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

To address the long-standing debate about whether a massive asteroid impact or volcanic activity caused the extinction of dinosaurs and numerous other species 66 million years ago, a team at Dartmouth College took an innovative approach — they removed scientists from the debate and let the computers decide.

The researchers report in the journal Science a new modeling method powered by interconnected processors that can work through reams of geological and climate data without human input. They tasked nearly 130 processors with analyzing the fossil record in reverse to pinpoint the events and conditions that led to the Cretaceous –Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event that cleared the way for the ascendance of mammals, including the primates that would lead to early humans.

Nov 27, 2023

What caused dinosaurs’ demise? Study says it wasn’t only asteroids

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

Another event — volcanic eruptions — might have played a major role in wiping out the dinosaurs.


Ugurhan/iStock.

Two main events that could be responsible for all the chaos happened at the same time: massive volcanic activity called the Deccan Traps in India and Seychelles and a huge meteorite hitting Earth, creating the Chicxulub crater in Mexico.

Continue reading “What caused dinosaurs’ demise? Study says it wasn’t only asteroids” »

Nov 26, 2023

The Fermi Paradox Compendium of Solutions & Terms

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, information science, media & arts, neuroscience, singularity, sustainability, time travel, virtual reality

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In the grand theater of the cosmos, amidst a myriad of distant suns and ancient galaxies, the Fermi Paradox presents a haunting silence, where a cacophony of alien conversations should exist. Where is Everyone? Or are we alone?

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Continue reading “The Fermi Paradox Compendium of Solutions & Terms” »

Nov 23, 2023

The governance gap: Balancing innovation and ecological responsibility in a world at risk

Posted by in categories: chemistry, existential risks, governance

“The world isn’t doing terribly well in averting global ecological collapse,” says Dr. Florian Rabitz, a chief researcher at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Lithuania, the author of a new monograph, “Transformative Novel Technologies and Global Environmental Governance,” recently published by Cambridge University Press.

Greenhouse gas emissions, species extinction, ecosystem degradation, chemical pollution, and more are threatening the Earth’s future. Despite decades of international agreements and countless high-level summits, success in forestalling this existential crisis has remained elusive, says Dr. Rabitz.

In his new monograph, the KTU researcher delves into the intersection of cutting-edge technological solutions and the global environmental crisis. The author explores how international institutions respond (or fail to respond) to high-impact technologies that have been the subject of extensive debate and controversy.

Nov 22, 2023

Why North Korea may use nuclear weapons first, and why current US policy toward Pyongyang is unsustainable

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military, nuclear energy, policy

I suggest two responses to this difficult challenge for the United States and its allies: At the time of attack, the allies should respond with nonnuclear retaliation as long as politically feasible, in order to prevent further nuclear escalation. However, this will be difficult given the likely post-strike panic and hysteria. So, in preparation, the US should deconcentrate its northeast Asian conventional footprint, to reduce North Korean opportunities to engage in nuclear blackmail regarding regional American clusters of military equipment and personnel, and to reduce potential US casualties and consequent massive retaliation pressures if North Korea does launch a nuclear attack.

North Korean first-use incentives. The incentives for North Korea to use nuclear weapons first in a major conflict are powerful:

Operationally, North Korea will likely have only a very short time window to use its weapons of mass destruction. The Americans will almost certainly try to immediately suppress Northern missiles. An imminent, massive US-South Korea disarming strike creates an extreme use-it-or-lose-it dilemma for Pyongyang. If Kim Jong-Un does not use his nuclear weapons at the start of hostilities, most will be destroyed a short time later by allied airpower, turning an inter-Korean conflict into a conventional war that the North will probably lose. Frighteningly, this may encourage Kim to also release his strategic nuclear weapons almost immediately after fighting begins.

Nov 20, 2023

Superintelligent AI: The Doomers

Posted by in categories: existential risks, robotics/AI

Does artificial general intelligence pose an existential risk?

Nov 19, 2023

Nowhere to hide

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military

But the catastrophe will not be limited to those two belligerents and their allies.

The long-term regional and global effects of nuclear explosions have been overshadowed in public discussions by the horrific, obvious, local consequences of nuclear explosions. Military planners have also focused on the short-term effects of nuclear explosions because they are tasked with estimating the capabilities of nuclear forces on civilian and military targets. Blast, local radiation fallout, and electromagnetic pulse (an intense burst of radio waves that can damage electronic equipment) are all desired outcomes of the use of nuclear weapons—from a military perspective.

Continue reading “Nowhere to hide” »

Nov 18, 2023

Godfather of AI Warns That Powerful Companies Are Seizing Control of It

Posted by in categories: existential risks, robotics/AI

Meta executive and “godfather of artificial intelligence” Yann LeCun has had it with people ringing the alarm bells about a hypothetical AI doomsday.

In a lengthy post on X-formerly-Twitter, the computer scientist argued that there’s a far bigger threat hovering over the burgeoning industry: powerful companies seizing control of the future of AI and using it to prop up their wealth and influence.

It’s a pertinent point, as an increasingly smaller number of AI companies are starting to emerge as the early winners in the AI race, claiming an ever-growing slice of the highly lucrative AI pie.

Nov 14, 2023

Earth Struck By Enormous Burst Of Gamma Rays From Two Billion Light-Years Away

Posted by in categories: cosmology, existential risks

A massive burst of gamma rays produced by the explosion of a star almost two billion light-years away was so powerful that it changed Earth’s atmosphere, according to scientists.


The brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen and detected impacted Earth’s atmosphere. It came from a supernova and may reveal why Earth has had mass extinctions in its past.

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