How Artificial Superintelligence Will Give Birth To Itself

There's a saying among futurists that a human-equivalent artificial intelligence will be our last invention. After that, AIs will be capable of designing virtually anything on their own — including themselves. Here's how a recursively self-improving AI could transform itself into a superintelligent machine. » 7/23/14 11:30am 7/23/14 11:30am

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 9:00am 3/28/14 9:00am

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 9:00am 2/13/14 9:00am

Yes, One Person Could Actually Destroy the World

Apocalyptic weapons are currently the domain of world powers. But this is set to change. Within a few decades, small groups — and even single individuals — will be able to get their hands on any number of extinction-inducing technologies. As shocking as it sounds, the world could be destroyed by a small team or a… » 11/25/13 11:27am 11/25/13 11:27am

Are we screwing ourselves by transmitting radio signals into space?

For nearly a hundred years, Earth has sent radio signals into space. If anyone nearby is listening, they probably know we’re here. In light of this, a new paper assesses the potential danger presented by such signals, concluding that the benefits outweigh the risks. But how can we really know? » 5/07/13 2:02pm 5/07/13 2:02pm

Watch George Dvorsky and Nick Bostrom talking live about risks to the…

Put your doomsday caps on, everyone. Starting tonight at 9pm EST (6pm PST) to 10pm EST (7pm PST), I'll be on Huffington Post Live talking about existential risks to the future of humanity. I'll be joined by Nick Bostrom of the Future of Humanity Institute, James Hughes from the Institute for Ethics and Emerging… » 2/26/13 5:30pm 2/26/13 5:30pm

Could nuclear disarmament actually increase our chance of an apocalypse?

Most everyone agrees that humanity needs to get rid of its nuclear weapons. It's only through complete relinquishment that we can eliminate the threat of deliberate or accidental nuclear war and the ongoing problem of proliferation. But at the same time, a strong case can be made that these apocalyptic weapons have… » 12/18/12 11:30am 12/18/12 11:30am

9 Ways Humanity Could Bring About Its Own Destruction

It won't be because of a Maya prophesy, but humanity may actually meet its doom someday. There is no shortage of threats from the natural world, including asteroid impacts and the eruption of supervolcanoes. But who needs natural disasters when you've got human ingenuity? Here are the top nine ways humanity could… » 12/12/12 10:02am 12/12/12 10:02am