[Controversial] Stephen Hawking: We Have Less Than 100 YEARS To Save The Human Race
The theoretical physicist identified artificial intelligence (AI), nuclear war and genetically-engineered viruses as just some of the man-...
The theoretical physicist identified artificial intelligence (AI), nuclear war and genetically-engineered viruses as just some of the man-made problems that pose an imminent threat to humanity.
We are “trapped” by our own advances
And the 74-year-old said that as we rapidly advance in these fields, there will be “new ways things can go wrong”.
We are at a point in history where we are “trapped” by our own advances, with humanity increasingly at risk from man-made threats but without technology sophisticated enough to escape from Earth in the event of a cataclysm.
He warned: “Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years.“By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race.
“However, we will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period.”He added that humans do have a knack of “saving the day” just in time, and urged fellow scientists to continue trying to make advances in their respective fields.Prof Hawking said: “We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we have to recognise the dangers and control them. I’m an optimist, and I believe we can.
“It’s important to ensure that these changes are heading in the right directions.“In a democratic society, this means that everyone needs to have a basic understanding of science to make informed decisions about the future.
“So communicate plainly what you are trying to do in science, and who knows, you might even end up understanding it yourself.”By Sean Martin