The “great minds of the world” estimated the most likely causes that might lead to the end of humanity and the world.
According to their calculations, killer robots and cyber-attacks that could cause chaos in communications are the greatest enemies of mankind.
The distinguished scientists of the University of Cambridge, among them Stephen Hawking, launched a study to identify what threatens the future of humanity.
Professor Robert May of the Center for the Study of Existential Risk of Cambridge said:
“When you know your enemies, you can face them.”
Head of the center is Martin Rees, who points out that among the greatest enemies of mankind is the man himself and not natural phenomena.
Among others, Rees believes that terrorists might use the Internet as a means of causing chaos in communications by spreading computer viruses.
Other major universities, Oxford, Harvard, and Berkeley, also took part in the study.
Scientists from these universities studied extreme weather, pandemics that spread rapidly, and the possibility of wars that could break out due to overpopulation, which would result in a lack of food and renewable energy sources.
“So far, the response of the scientific community to our efforts is impressive, although, at present, our study is at an early stage,” says lead researcher and adds: “Our goal is to create an international advisory network.”
As he explains, the two scientists who have the leading role in this effort are the director of the Internet call services “Skype” Jaan Tallinn and a professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge Huw Price.
Many scientists fear that advances in technology will trigger risks threatening humankind. Our dependence on technology makes the human species particularly vulnerable, warn the scientists.
In particular, the major risks that threaten our species and could lead to the end of humanity are:
- Advanced technology: killer robots and computers in the hands of terrorists
- Laboratory viruses that can cause pandemics
- Extreme weather events
- Nuclear apocalypse
- Impact of a giant asteroid on our planet
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