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Future of Humanity Institute Most attention has been given to risks to human civilization over the next years, but forecasting for this length of time is difficult.
The types of threats posed by nature may prove relatively constant, though new risks could be discovered. Anthropogenic threats, however, are likely to change dramatically with the development of new technology; while volcanoes have been a threat throughout history, nuclear weapons have only been an issue since the 20th century.
Historically, the ability of experts to predict the future over these timescales has proved very limited. Man-made threats such as nuclear war or nanotechnology are harder to predict than natural threats, due to the inherent methodological difficulties in the social sciences.
In general, it is hard to estimate the magnitude of the risk from this or other dangers, especially as both international relations and technology can change rapidly.
Existential risks pose unique challenges to prediction, even more than other long-term events, because of observation selection effects. Unlike with most events, the failure of a complete extinction event to occur in the past is not evidence against their likelihood in the future, because every world that has experienced such an extinction event has no observers, so regardless of their frequency, no civilization observes existential risks in its history.
Derek Parfit argues that extinction would be a great loss because our descendants could potentially survive for four billion years before the expansion of the Sun makes the Earth uninhabitable. If future humans colonize space, they may be able to support a very large number of people on other planets, potentially lasting for trillions of years.
Exponential discounting might make these future benefits much less significant. However, Jason Matheny has argued that such discounting is inappropriate when assessing the value of existential risk reduction.
Martin Weitzman argues that most of the expected economic damage from climate change may come from the small chance that warming greatly exceeds the mid-range expectations, resulting in catastrophic damage. For example, when people are motivated to donate money to altruistic causes, the quantity they are willing to give does not increase linearly with the magnitude of the issue: It is a global good, so even if a large nation decreases it, that nation will only enjoy a small fraction of the benefit of doing so.
Furthermore, the vast majority of the benefits may be enjoyed by far future generations, and though these quadrillions of future people would in theory perhaps be willing to pay massive sums for existential risk reduction, no mechanism for such a transaction exists.
Some of these have caused mass extinctions in the past. On the other hand, some risks are man-made, such as global warming,  environmental degradation, engineered pandemics and nuclear war.
Anthropogenic[ edit ] The Cambridge Project at Cambridge University states that the "greatest threats" to the human species are man-made; they are artificial intelligence, global warming, nuclear war, and rogue biotechnology.
Existential risk from advanced artificial intelligenceAI takeoverFriendly artificial intelligenceand Technological singularity It has been suggested that learning computers that rapidly become superintelligent may take unforeseen actions, or that robots would out-compete humanity one technological singularity scenario.
Paths, Dangers, Strategieshe defines this as the control problem. They noted that some robots have acquired various forms of semi-autonomy, including being able to find power sources on their own and being able to independently choose targets to attack with weapons.
They also noted that some computer viruses can evade elimination and have achieved "cockroach intelligence. Since people base their judgments of artificial intelligence on their own experience, he claims that they underestimate the potential power of AI.
Biotechnology risk Biotechnology can pose a global catastrophic risk in the form of bioengineered organisms virusesbacteriafungiplants or animals. In many cases the organism will be a pathogen of humans, livestockcrops or other organisms we depend upon e.
However, any organism able to catastrophically disrupt ecosystem functionse. A biotechnology catastrophe may be caused by accidentally releasing a genetically engineered organism escaping from controlled environments, by the planned release of such an organism which then turns out to have unforeseen and catastrophic interactions with essential natural or agro-ecosystems, or by intentional usage of biological agents in biological warfarebioterrorism attacks.
To what extent this is due to a lack of capabilities or motivation is not resolved. Regulation or prevention of potentially dangerous research, improved recognition of outbreaks and developing facilities to mitigate disease outbreaks e.
Cyberattack Cyberattacks have the potential to destroy everything from personal data to electric grids. Christine Petersonco-founder and past president of the Foresight Institutebelieves a cyberattack on electric grids has the potential to be a catastrophic risk.An Analysis of the Documentary, Planet Earth: Fate of the Earth PAGES 3.
WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: planet earth: fate of the earth, richard kiley, gaya theory, the rainforests.
Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.
Green Granny How sick is this? trump is justifying continuing high emission to those who care more for profits than for human life. I quote, "But the administration did not offer this dire forecast as part of an argument to combat climate change.
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Oct 18, · The best documentary to watch high and sober. The Earth might seem solid beneath our feet but five billion years ago there was no sign of the planet we call. "Is There Hope for Planet Earth" explores the causes and long-term effects of climate change with paleoclimatologist Jess Adkins.
KCET's weekly news documentary series investigates and reports on the issues that affect Southern California, from the economy to the environment.
Andrés ponders his fate after being accused of murdering. A global catastrophic risk is a hypothetical future event which could damage human well-being on a as statistical analysis shows no evidence for a correlation between past reversals and past extinctions. Global pandemic Numerous Last Days On Earth (TV documentary) ABC News 2-hour Special Edition of 20/20 on 7 real end-of-the.