The end is not nigh, but it could be unless we constrain our own technological ingenuity. That’s the warning from an initiative in Cambridge, UK, that wants to create a centre to focus on huge, technological hazards that could wipe out the human race at a stroke.
These dangers would include robots that escape our control, nuclear war, doomsday plagues designed in laboratories, and devastation from climate change triggered by human activity.
“We’re talking about threats to our very existence stemming from human activity,” says Martin Rees, a professor of cosmology and astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. Along with Cambridge philosopher Huw Price and Jaan Tallinn, inventor of Skype, he has founded the Cambridge Project for Existential Risk.