What Are The Biggest Threats to The World Today ? In 2015, a research group from the Global Challenges Foundation at Oxford University published a list of a multitude of threats that could wipe out all human life within the next 100 years. Here are the 10 most dangerous risks and biggest threats to the world.
Will It Turn Against Its Developers? Artificial intelligence is one of the most feared modern technologies. What happens when AI begins to claim resources for itself in order to advance its own intelligence, and we humans then have too little left?
In fact, highly complex computer programs are already able to teach themselves things. For example, the DeepMind machine, which perfected chess by playing against itself, completely without human influence.
What happens when an artificial intelligence no longer depends on programmers?
Extreme climate change
Can we stop climate change? Famine, social collapse and massive waves of migration: although climate change is a central political issue today, the possible consequences have to be kept in mind if we do not manage to combat it effectively. Climate changes will increasingly affect our lives within the next 100 to 200 years.
Is humanity destroying itself? Given the large number of nuclear weapons that currently exist on earth, a nuclear war could have devastating consequences. For example, there could be a nuclear winter in which temperatures drop sharply and the ozone layer would be severely damaged. Conversely, major famines would also be expected here.
Could it herald the end of humanity? Nanotechnology already enables us to do things that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. For example, silicon and nano-soot particles are incorporated into car tires, which stabilize the rubber and thus save up to ten percent on fuel through lower rolling resistance.
But what happens when these tiny particles (by definition <100nm) get into our body? Little research has been done on these effects to date. However, experts warn against avoiding products that could release nanoparticles.
Will we suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs? Even an asteroid with a diameter of five kilometers would destroy an area the size of the Netherlands due to its high speed. The impact would trigger a huge cloud of dust, which inevitably limits our food procurement.
It was only in the summer of last year that an asteroid missed us by around 65,000 kilometers – very close by astronomical standards, especially since even NASA did not see the chunk coming. Fortunately, it has been calculated that an actual impact occurs only once every 20 million years. But who knows…
Global Pandemic Outbreak
Could We All Succumb to Infectious Disease? The current case of the coronavirus makes this point on our list more topical. Although the situation is now more or less under control, the virus still gives us a premonition of how quickly infectious diseases can spread in a world as closely connected as ours.
To do this, however, one has to bear in mind that the continuous medical progress nowadays allows doctors and researchers to react faster and faster to spontaneously occurring viruses.
Will we face bioterrorism soon? It sounds like a promise to understand biological systems so well that one is able to completely recreate them or to give them new properties.
Last year, researchers in the United States began treating cancer patients with gene therapies. They remove immune cells, change them in the laboratory and then put them back into the body. So you cut sequences of DNA.
What can bring many advantages also harbors unimagined risks: What if genetic scissors like CRISPR are not used to heal patients, but to harm others? Keyword: bio-terrorism and bio-warfare.
Will a layer of ash bury us? Much less likely, but no less fatal, would be the eruption of a super volcano. In the process, dust would be shot into the atmosphere, which would drastically lower temperatures around the world. This would be comparable to a nuclear winter.
The total number of these supervolcanoes on earth has not yet been conclusively recorded. The last eruption took place in New Zealand about 26,000 years ago – according to calculations, super volcanoes erupt every 5,000 to 48,000 years!
The collapse of the global system
Will the complicated network of institutions and organizations fly around our ears? The economic and political systems of the world are exposed to the risk of collapse, which is due to their dense networking and dependency.
The Global Challenges Foundation researchers are still not sure what needs to happen to make it happen. But they are convinced that the consequences would be so far-reaching that they would seriously threaten the very existence of our civilization.
There is so much out there that we don’t know. We know we don’t know anything. According to the Fermi paradox: It can be assumed that extraterrestrial life exists, but we have not yet had contact.
That, in turn, may be because intelligent life always self-destructs or is destroyed before it can explore the galaxy. Will it happen to us too?