Leaving Earth
Science

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 works in artificial intelligence progress, 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 takes just one person and one dreadful moment to give a robot the same abilities humans have, while eliminating all safety restraints.

For these sort of dangers, Hawking wants to get us prepared. Mars self-sustaining human colonies could happen, but not in the next 100 years. What do we do until then? The answer’s in the stars, reinstates Stephen Hawking: “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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