The following sources provide an introduction to issues of catastrophic risk, including those associated with a variety of human technologies.

Books, articles and talks by us

  1. Astronomer Royal on science, environment and the future. A speech by Martin Rees at the British Science Festival in Newcastle on September 12th, 2013.
  2. Earth in its final century? A TED talk by Martin Rees.
  3. Our Final Century? (2003) and From Here to Infinity (2011). Books by Martin Rees.
  4. Denial of catastrophic risk. An editorial in Science (8 March 2013) by Martin Rees.
  5. The World in 2050 and beyond. Martin Rees comments in The New Statesman about humanity’s future.
  6. AI — Can we keep it in the box? A brief introduction to the issues in the case of AI, with links to further reading, by Huw Price and Jaan Tallinn.
  7. Are we risking our existence? A talk by Martin Rees, Jaan Tallin and Huw Price at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas.
  8. The Intelligence Stairway. A public lecture by Jaan Tallinn at Sydney Ideas, July 2012 (introduced by Huw Price).
  9. Cambridge, Cabs and Copenhagen: My Route to Existential Risk. Huw Price in the New York Times.
  10. Surviving the 21st Century. The launch lecture for the Centre, with talks by Martin Rees, Jaan Tallin and Huw Price.
  11. Life as we know it. Max Tegmark in Edge Magazine.
  12. Pursuit of the Common Good. A Science Magazine editorial by Partha Dasgupta and Veerabhadran Ramanthan on sustainability and risks from climate change.
  13. Unprecedented Technological Risks. A policy document co-authored with Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and Global Priorities Project.
  14. Professor Stephen Hawking, Theoretical Physicist – The Theory of Everything.  A talk by Professor Stephen Hawking on Artificial Intelligence at Google Zeigeist.  A transcript of the talk can be found here.
  15. Existential Risk.  An interview from Edge covering Jaan Tallinn’s views on artificial intelligence and existential risks.
  16. The Future of Artificial Intelligence.  An expert panel discussion from Science Friday featuring Professor Stuart Russell.

Articles and talks by others

  1. Why the future doesn’t need us. A classic and controversial piece by Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems.
  2. Catastrophe: Risk and Response (2005). An important book by Richard Posner — “worth the price of the book simply for Posner’s lively and readable summary of the apocalyptic dystopias that serious scientists judge to be possible” (Washington Post).
  3. Omens. An excellent recent profile of the work of Nick Bostrom and his colleagues at the Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford.
  4. Why we should think about the threat of artificial intelligence. A good article by Gary Marcus, Professor of psychology at New York University.
  5. Managing Existential Risk From Emerging Technologies. A chapter in the 2014 Chief Scientific Advisor’s report to the UK Government, authored by Nick Beckstead and Toby Ord of the Future of Humanity Institute.
  6. Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction.  An article from Science Advances – the window of opportunity to take measures to avert the sixth mass extinction is rapidly closing.
  7. CRISPR Science Can’t Solve it.  Daniel Sarewitz on the need for an inclsive discussion aout the benefits and risks of gene editing, artificial intelligence and other transformative technology.
  8. Understanding Artificial Intelligence.  An article from Brooking’s ‘Tech Tank’.

Useful links

  1. The Future of Humanity Institute
  2. The Oxford Martin School
  3. Global Catastrophic Risk Institute
  4. Machine Intelligence Research Institute
  5. The Future of Life Institute
  6. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
  7. The Biological Weapons Convention
  8. UK Foresight Programme
  9. Federation of American Scientists
  10. Defense Threat Reduction Agency – US Strategic Command
  11. Facing the Intelligence Explosion – A thorough primer to AI-risk in a website form.
  12. Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence: an Open Letter
  13. Climate Change and The Common Good – A report prepared by Professors Partha Dasgupta and Martin Rees among other academics in association with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.