New risk report warns of future catastrophe


Intelligent machines could pose a threat in the future.
Scientists have warned that world governments are not doing enough to prepare for disaster scenarios.
In a new report entitled ‘Global Catastrophic Risks’, researchers at Oxford University have outlined the biggest threats to mankind, each with the potential to kill more than 10% of the population.

These range from well known disaster scenarios such as an asteroid strike or nuclear war to lesser known threats such as an apocalyptic virus or the eruption of a supervolcano.

Even a catastrophe brought about by intelligent machines has been taken in to consideration.

“There are some things that are on the horizon – things that probably won’t happen in any one year but could happen – which could completely reshape our world and do so in a really devastating and disastrous way,” said Sebastian Farquhar, director at Oxford’s Global Priorities Project.

“History teaches us that many of these things are more likely than we intuitively think.”

In particular the report emphasized the need for world governments to take measures to avoid such disasters by disposing of nuclear weapons, investigating the risks posed by intelligent computers and by better coordinating their plans for dealing with natural disasters and pandemics.