stephen hawking
Stephen Hawking Was Right to Worry About Our Impending Doom

Physicist Stephen Hawking died yesterday at the age of 76. In the latter stages of his illustrious career, Hawking devoted a considerable amount of time and effort to issuing warnings of future threats—from the perils of climate change and nuclear war through to artificial superintelligence and alien invasions. And for this he was often ridiculed. But here’s the thing: Hawking was right—and it would be incumbent upon all of us to heed his advice. Read More >>

Why Banning Killer AI Is Easier Said Than Done

As we head deeper into the 21st century, the prospect of getting robots to do the dirty business of killing gets closer with each passing day. In Max Tegmark’s new book, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, the MIT physicist and founder of the Future of Life Institute contemplates this seemingly sci-fi possibility, weighing the potential benefits of autonomous machines in warfare with the tremendous risks. The ultimate challenge, he says, will be convincing world powers to pass on this game-changing technology. Read More >>

We Were Wrong About How the Asteroid Apocalypse Will Go Down

Here’s a cheery thought to send you into the weekend: New research suggests that the greatest danger posed by an incoming asteroid is not from the cataclysmic impact of it striking the Earth — but from the enormous shockwave it produces when it enters the atmosphere. Read More >>

Our Sun Could Release Superflares as Powerful as a Billion Megaton Bombs

By studying a nearby sun-like star, astronomers have concluded that the Sun is capable of releasing solar flares a thousand times greater than anything previously recorded. Scientists say the chances of this are quite slim, but warn that such an event would threaten life on Earth. Read More >>