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Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Science |

Cambridge opened the “Center for the Study of Existential Risks”

(C) C2 Pictures, Intermedia Films, Mostow / Lieberman Productions

A few decades ago much of the work of speculative science fiction about the ‘present’ dealt with the threats of technology (Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is set in 2026, V for Vendetta in 1997, and “1984″ Orwell, Well, in 1984), and although we have not rocket backpacks, technology has retained a discreet place in homes, so much so that we no longer so fear of what prepares us for the future.

But a team of academics, including a philosopher, a scientist and a software engineer (Jaan Tallinn, one of the founders of Skype) – came together to create a new research center at the University of to explore new technologies that may have the potential to extinguish our species.

The agency is called the Center for the Study of Existential Risks (CSER for its acronym in English), and investigate advances in any field in which technology could pose risks such as biotechnology and nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence and climate change and so forth.

“At some point in this century or the next, we will face one of the biggest changes in the history of mankind, that is when the intelligence to escape the limits of biology,” said Huw Price , the philosopher team founder and holder of the Chair Bertrand Russell in Cambridge.

“At the time we anticipated nature, and we should not take for granted to artificial intelligence. We need to seriously examine the possibility that there is a time to open Pandora’s box with the AI, and if we fail, can have disastrous results. Do not mean by this that we can predict with certainty, no one can, but it is point! With stakes need to understand the technologies potentially catastrophic risks.

Link: Humanity’s last invention and our uncertain future (University of Cambridge)

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