Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category: Page 11

Sep 29, 2021

Corporations Are Sending Huge Mining Machines to the Bottom of the Ocean

Posted by in categories: existential risks, sustainability, transportation

“DeepGreen is offering a false or dystopian choice,” Deep Sea Conservation Coalition cofounder Matthew Gianni told The Guardian.

Dangling the possibility of widespread electric vehicle adoption by securing the resources necessary to manufacture more and better batteries is certainly tantalizing. But scientists told The Guardian that getting those metals from the seafloor — especially with machines that would cause a poorly-understood environmental impact in an area that’s nearly impossible to monitor and regulate — would come at too great a cost.

“There are some very significant questions being raised by scientists about the impacts of ocean mining,” University of California, Santa Barbara researcher Douglas McCauley told The Guardian. “How much extinction could be generated? How long will it take these extremely low-resilience systems to recover? What impact will it have on the ocean’s capacity to capture carbon?”

Sep 29, 2021

Understanding just how big solar flares can get

Posted by in category: existential risks

Not sure if this is new or not. We all know about the Carrington event, but it looks like tree rings reveal a number of much more massive events in the past 10,000 years — perhaps 10 times as strong as the Carrington event, perhaps 100 times or more. (This particular article only references the lower estimates.)

Recasting the iconic Carrington Event as just one of many superstorms in Earth’s past, scientists reveal the potential for even more massive, and potentially destructive, eruptions from the Sun.

Sep 28, 2021

Billionaires bet on Brussels to save them from AI singularity

Posted by in categories: existential risks, robotics/AI, singularity

A new group is seeking to warn European policymakers about AI’s ‘existential’ threat to humanity.

Sep 27, 2021

When will we meet aliens? 3 parameters reveal the timeline

Posted by in category: existential risks

New research sheds light on the Fermi Paradox.

Italian-American nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi asked his colleagues a question during a lunchtime conversation. The Fermi Paradox is famous for questioning whether aliens exist.

Continue reading “When will we meet aliens? 3 parameters reveal the timeline” »

Sep 22, 2021

A Warning Sign of a Mass Extinction Event Is on the Rise, Scientists Say

Posted by in category: existential risks

Toxic microbial blooms thrived during the Great Dying, the most severe extinction in Earth’s history, and they are proliferating again due to human activity.

Sep 22, 2021

I Tried Warning Them — Elon Musk on Superhuman AI

Posted by in categories: biological, Elon Musk, existential risks, robotics/AI, singularity

I tried to warn them.-Elon Musk.

Elon Musk has warned humanity many times about the dangers of superhuman AI. He thinks the advent of digital superintelligence will bring about profound changes to human civilization. Elon Musk thinks the technological singularity could either be super beneficial or it could be terrible for our society. Elon said that no one knows for sure the impact superhuman AI will have on our world but that one thing is for certain: We will not be able to control it. He thinks artificial intelligence will be used as a weapon and warns that the lack of AI regulation could mean it’s already too late for humanity.

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Sep 17, 2021

Deep learning helps predict new drug combinations to fight COVID-19

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks, health, robotics/AI

The existential threat of COVID-19 has highlighted an acute need to develop working therapeutics against emerging health threats. One of the luxuries deep learning has afforded us is the ability to modify the landscape as it unfolds — so long as we can keep up with the viral threat, and access the right data.

As with all new medical maladies, oftentimes the data needs time to catch up, and the virus takes no time to slow down, posing a difficult challenge as it can quickly mutate and become resistant to existing drugs. This led scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) to ask: how can we identify the right synergistic drug combinations for the rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2?

Typically, data scientists use deep learning to pick out drug combinations with large existing datasets for things like cancer and cardiovascular disease, but, understandably, they can’t be used for new illnesses with limited data.

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Sep 15, 2021

Biotech Firm Raises $15 Million to Bring Woolly Mammoth Back to Life

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks

After 10,000 years of extinction, one company wants to bring the woolly mammoth back to life.

The biotech firm Colossal raised $15 million in a bid to revive the extinct woolly mammoth by manipulating the DNA of Asian elephants.

Sep 15, 2021

The Pentagon Wants to Launch a Nuclear Thermal Rocket in 4 Years

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military, robotics/AI, satellites

The spacecraft will provide fast transport between Earth and the moon—and beyond.

Picture this: World War III is just hours away. In the cold vastness of space, enemy robotic spacecraft are slowly adjusting their orbits and preparing to launch a surprise attack on the U.S.’s fleet of satellites. The uncrewed craft, with robotic arms strong enough to disable a satellite, are creeping up on American spacecraft, about to deal a knockout blow to the U.S. military.

But down on Earth, U.S. Space Force guardians have been keeping track of the assassin craft, knowing that in order to present as low a profile target as possible, they have just enough fuel for one attack. At the last minute, after the enemy satellites have committed to attack, the command activates the nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) engines on the American satellites, quickly boosting them into a higher orbit and safely out of range.

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Sep 14, 2021

NASA Upped the Chance of Asteroid Bennu Slamming Into Earth — Putting the Odds in Perspective

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


Like Hitting a Bullseye With Your Eyes Closed Two statisticians put into perspective the chances of asteroid Bennu striking Earth in the next 300 years. Even Harry Stamper would probably like these odds. Recently NASA updated its forecast of the chances that the asteroid Bennu, one of the two most hazardous known objects in our solar system, will hit Earth in the next 300 years. New calculations put the odds at 1 in 1,750 a figure slightly higher than previously thought.

Continue reading “NASA Upped the Chance of Asteroid Bennu Slamming Into Earth — Putting the Odds in Perspective” »

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