We Should Not Dismiss the Dangers of "Killer Robots" So Quickly

Earlier this summer, more than a thousand prominent thinkers and specialists signed an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous killing machines. Since then, a number of critics have condemned the motion, citing it as both dangerous and useless. Optimization researcher Toby Walsh explains why we shouldn’t be so… »8/14/15 3:40pm8/14/15 3:40pm

Creating Mutated Versions Of Viruses Not Worth The Risk, Say Scientists

In the wake of an experiment to see if a mutated form of the H5N1 bird flu could be made transmissible to humans, a pair of biologists are now speaking out about the potential risks posed by such endeavors; they say there's a much greater chance that these viruses could escape from the lab than we've been led to… »5/21/14 5:20pm5/21/14 5:20pm

Why Asimov's Three Laws Of Robotics Can't Protect Us

It's been 50 years since Isaac Asimov devised his famous Three Laws of Robotics — a set of rules designed to ensure friendly robot behavior. Though intended as a literary device, these laws are heralded by some as a ready-made prescription for avoiding the robopocalypse. We spoke to the experts to find out if Asimov's… »3/28/14 12:00pm3/28/14 12:00pm

A Massive Solar Superstorm Nearly Blasted The Earth In 2012

Back on July 23, 2012 a furious solar magnetic storm just grazed our planet. Had it erupted just nine days earlier, it would have hit us, causing extensive damage to our technological infrastructure. It would have been a geomagnetic catastrophe the likes of which we've never seen. Scientists say the close shave should… »3/20/14 11:00am3/20/14 11:00am

Could a juiced-up particle accelerator destroy the Earth?

One of the world's largest particle colliders is about to undergo upgrades that will make it considerably more powerful than it is now. The ensuing experiments will once again take us into uncharted scientific waters, prompting critics to warn of a potential catastrophe — one powerful enough to destroy our entire… »2/13/14 12:00pm2/13/14 12:00pm

NASA downgrades AG5 asteroid threat -– but we’re not out of the woods yet

A recently concluded NASA workshop has determined that asteroid 2011 AG5 has a very slim chance of hitting the Earth in 2040 –- a 1-in-500 chance to be exact. But scientists say that the possibility of impact could increase substantially after the asteroid's flyby in 2023 when it passes through a very critical… »6/19/12 10:30am6/19/12 10:30am