Overview

The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk is an interdisciplinary research centre within the University of Cambridge dedicated to the study and mitigation of risks that could lead to human extinction or civilisational collapse. Our research brings together some of the best minds from academia, industry and the policy world to examine these risks.

To reap the enormous benefits of technological progress while safely navigating the potentially catastrophic pitfalls, powerful new technologies should be safe and beneficial. We focus especially on under-studied high-impact risks – those that might result in a global catastrophe, or even threaten human extinction, even if only with low probability. We aim to identify which risks need to be taken seriously and which can safely be dismissed as science fiction.

Our current research agenda comprises two main strands:

  1. Cross-cutting issues in Managing Extreme Technological Risk
  2. Analysis of specific potential risks including:
    1. Biological risk
    2. Environmental risk
    3. Risk from Artificial intelligence
    4. Systemic risk.