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Cambridge University Center Will Study Technologies that Pose ‘Extinction-Level’ Risks to Humanity

Published: November 26, 2012
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Source: Cryptogon

Flashback 2000: Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us

Via: Cambridge University:

A philosopher, a scientist and a software engineer have come together to propose a new centre at Cambridge to address developments in human technologies that might pose “extinction-level” risks to our species, from biotechnology to artificial intelligence.

While few would deny the benefits humanity has received as a result of its engineering genius – from longer life to global networks – some are starting to question whether the acceleration of human technologies will result in the survival of man, as Good contended, or if in fact this is the very thing that will end us.

Now a philosopher, a scientist and a software engineer have come together to propose a new centre at Cambridge, the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), to address these cases – from developments in bio and nanotechnology to extreme climate change and even artificial intelligence – in which technology might pose “extinction-level” risks to our species.

“At some point, this century or next, we may well be facing one of the major shifts in human history – perhaps even cosmic history – when intelligence escapes the constraints of biology,” says Huw Price, the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy and one of CSER’s three founders, speaking about the possible impact of Good’s ultra-intelligent machine, or artificial general intelligence (AGI) as we call it today.

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