It will look at the four greatest threats to humans – artificial intelligence, climate change, nuclear war and rogue biotechnology. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator movies showed a world where ultra-intelligent machines drive humanity to near extinction.
The project — known as the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk — is being co-launched by Lord Rees, who warned humanity could wipe itself out by 2100 in his book Our Final Century. He will work with philosophy professor Huw Price and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.
Prof Price said, “We have machines that have trumped human performance in chess, flying, driving, financial trading and face, speech and handwriting recognition.
The concern is that by creating artificially intelligent machines we risk yielding control over the planet to intelligences that are indifferent to us and to the things we consider valuable.”