Leaving Earth

Stephen Hawking, On Leaving Earth: “I Don’t Think We Will Survive Another 1,000 Years”

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Elon Musk has been one of the top advocates for a Mars voyage and colony system; physicist Stephen Hawking couldn’t agree more. In fact, he believes that life on Earth won’t continue for more than 1000 years, so we should start thinking of a back-up plan for humanity’s survival #todaymagic

In a lecture at the University of Cambridge this week, Hawking talked about the need of setting up human colonies in Space as our fragile planet’s end is near:

“[W]e must … continue to go into space for the future of humanity. I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”

Climate change, global wars, and pandemics aren’t the only things that might put an end to life on Earth. Hawking has talked about the perils that lie in our desire to make robots as human-like as possible. As work in artificial intelligence progresses, these words ring true now more than ever: “[AI will be] either the best, or the worst, thing ever to happen to humanity.” For now, machines with artificial intelligence seem harmless and helpful but it could just be one artificial intelligence system that gives robots the same capacity of thought that humans, while eliminating all safety restraints.

For these all of these dangers, Hawking wants to the world to be prepared. Even as Mars self-sustaining human colonies could be several generations away, Hawking believes that the answer to human existence is in the stars: “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, wonder about what makes the Universe exist. Be curious!”

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Stephen Hawking, On Leaving Earth: “I Don’t Think We Will Survive Another 1,000 Years”
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