The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), a project associated with the University of Cambridge, proposes a study that will examine the risks to humanity posed by artificial intelligence, biotechnology and nanotechnology.
The project is billed as a “joint initiative between a philosopher, a scientist, and a software entrepreneur,” which shall explore “developments in human technology may soon pose new, extinction-level risks to our species as a whole.”
Those behind the effort—philosopher Huw Price, cosmology and astrophysics professor Martin Rees and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn—say that they are attempting to forge a scientific approach to studying what are considered, by the popular mind, science-fiction-like scenarios.
Huw Price says “It seems a reasonable prediction that some time in this or the next century intelligence will escape from the constraints of biology”.
CSER is scheduled to launch next year. The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk is being co-launched by astronomer royal Lord Rees, one of the world’s leading cosmologists.
It will probe the “four greatest threats” to the human species, given as: artificial intelligence, climate change, nuclear war and rogue biotechnology.