Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category

Nov 23, 2015

Will Our Descendants Survive the Destruction of the Universe?

Posted by in categories: existential risks, futurism

Now there’s a lifeboat. However my life may be extended, if anyone lives that long or some future generation has to deal with it, at some point this universe will be far less friendly to life than it already is. So, a way out?

Billions of years from now, the universe as we know it will cease to exist. The good news is, that gives us a lot of time to prepare, and maybe even figure out a way to cheat cosmic death. Here are some possible ways our descendants might survive a cosmological apocalypse.

The Universe, like the organisms that reside within it, is a mortal entity. Born in the Big Bang, it will eventually meet its fate through an equally cataclysmic process, whether it be in the form of a Big Rip, a Big Crunch, or an eternal deep freeze. Regardless, all life as we know it will be extinguished.

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Oct 26, 2015

Mass extinctions linked to comet and asteroid showers

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Equal parts interesting and disturbing.

Mass extinctions occurring over the past 260 million years were likely caused by comet and asteroid showers, a new study concludes. An artist’s illustration of a major asteroid impact on Earth. (credit: NASA/Don Davis)

Mass extinctions occurring over the past 260 million years were likely caused by comet and asteroid showers, scientists conclude in a new study published in an open-access paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Oct 15, 2015

Evacuate Earth Death by a Neutron Star in 1080p

Posted by in category: existential risks

This is one of the most fascinating and riveting documentaries I’ve ever seen…

Watch it.

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Oct 13, 2015

Weapons of Mass Extinction

Posted by in categories: entertainment, existential risks, space

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the acclaimed documentary series How the Universe Works ~ Weapons of Mass Extinction.

The Universe is a very dangerous place to live. Death and destruction lie all around us. The Cosmic Grim Reaper lies in wait; scythe in hand, in some dark corner of the universe ever ready to bestow some dark faith upon us.

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Oct 10, 2015

Elon Musk: We need to leave Earth as soon as possible

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, existential risks, space

He believes in a good backup plan.

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Oct 7, 2015

SUMER: — 3D Animation Short-Film

Posted by in categories: entertainment, existential risks

For unknown reasons, the Earth’s ionosphere has weakened dramatically during the course of the last century, resulting in the collapse of the entire ecosystem. Earth has become an increasingly hostile and uninhabitable place and with no shield to protect it, it is at the full mercy of meteors.

All animal and plant species perished decades ago. All that remains is one small group of humans who attempt to resist the hostility and hardness of the external environment from SUMER, the last hive city in the world, which has been specifically designed to keep the population alive through oxygen supply systems.

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Oct 6, 2015

Elon Musk has the perfect argument for raising NASA’s budget

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, existential risks, space

“Billionaire Elon Musk has a really compelling reason to ramp up NASA’s budget: We need to become a multi-planet species to ensure the survival of the human race, and we need NASA’s help to do it.”

Someone tell Congress.

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Oct 1, 2015

Scientists suggest a new, earth-shaking twist on the demise of the dinosaurs

Posted by in categories: existential risks, space

Giant impact of space rock could have intensified volcanic eruption, scientists say.

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Sep 28, 2015

Artificial Intelligence Must Answer to Its Creators

Posted by in categories: big data, computing, driverless cars, existential risks

Although it was made in 1968, to many people, the renegade HAL 9000 computer in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey still represents the potential danger of real-life artificial intelligence. However, according to Mathematician, Computer Visionary and Author Dr. John MacCormick, the scenario of computers run amok depicted in the film – and in just about every other genre of science fiction – will never happen.

“Right from the start of computing, people realized these things were not just going to be crunching numbers, but could solve other types of problems,” MacCormick said during a recent interview with TechEmergence. “They quickly discovered computers couldn’t do things as easily as they thought.”

While MacCormick is quick to acknowledge modern advances in artificial intelligence, he’s also very conscious of its ongoing limitations, specifically replicating human vision. “The sub-field where we try to emulate the human visual system turned out to be one of the toughest nuts to crack in the whole field of AI,” he said. “Object recognition systems today are phenomenally good compared to what they were 20 years ago, but they’re still far, far inferior to the capabilities of a human.”

To compensate for its limitations, MacCormick notes that other technologies have been developed that, while they’re considered by many to be artificially intelligent, don’t rely on AI. As an example, he pointed to Google’s self-driving car. “If you look at the Google self-driving car, the AI vision systems are there, but they don’t rely on them,” MacCormick said. “In terms of recognizing lane markings on the road or obstructions, they’re going to rely on other sensors that are more reliable, such as GPS, to get an exact location.”

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Sep 22, 2015

Humanity makes first ever withdrawal from the doomsday seed vault

Posted by in categories: existential risks, food

When humanity needs to make use of a facility known lovingly as the “doomsday seed vault,” you know things have gone off the rails. After four years of civil war in Syria, the region’s main source of important seeds in the region has been damaged, and researchers from the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) is asking to make a withdrawal from the seed bank. This will be the first time humanity has had to draw on this resource.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was officially opened in 2008 and contains more than 860,000 samples of seeds from nearly every country on Earth. Its goal is to preserve important agricultural crops like beans, wheat, and rice so they will be available in the event of war or natural disaster.

To do this, the vault is built into the side of a mountain in the remote northern reaches of Norway on the Svalbard archipelago. It’s only 800 miles (1300 km) from the north pole, which allows researchers to keep the seeds at a frosty 0 degrees fahrenheit. Even if all the people left Svalbard and the power went offline, the vault would remain frozen and intact for at least a few centuries.

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