Let’s face it. There is a decent chance that everyone alive today will experience an apocalyptic event. You don’t need a political science degree to know that we live in volatile times.
Until recently, however, all of this doom-and-gloom talk was mostly speculation. Then this report happened.
A report issued by a team of researchers at Oxford University entitled “Global Catastrophic Risks” warns of a dramatic increase in the likelihood of apocalyptic events that could eliminate 10 percent or more of the human population within the next five years.
The most likely events to affect the planet in the near future are, surprisingly enough, volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts. Next on the list are climate-related disasters and nuclear war, followed by man-made virus pandemics, geoengineering disasters, and artificial intelligence.
“There are some things that are on the horizon — things that could completely reshape our world and do so in a really devastating and disastrous way,” Sebastian Farquhar, director of the Global Priorities Project, said.
Surprisingly enough, the thing that the authors are most worried about is the emergence of artificial intelligence.
“It seems conceivable that A.I. systems might be able to systematically outdo humans in a bunch of different domains,” Farquhar continued. “If its goals don’t match with what humanity’s values are, then there might be adverse consequences.”
Essentially, if you’re making big plans for the future, you should take some of these apocalyptic scenarios into consideration when assessing risk.
(H/T Viral Nova)