High-profile physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that humans need to colonize another planet within 100 years or face the threat of extinction.
A press release from earlier this week said that the professor will “present his predictions that the human race only has 100 years before we need to colonize another planet” in a new BBC documentary called “Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth” set to air later this year.
“With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious.”
Humanity probably has around 1,000 years left before it becomes extinct, Hawking had theorized previously. However, it seems that his timeline for the extinction has now been shortened. Over the past few years, a number of warnings about the future of the human race has been issued by the famous physicist.
The world was warned about the dangers to the human race from nuclear war, global warming, genetically-engineered viruses and artificial intelligence (AI) by Hawking earlier at the beginning of 2016.
“Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years,” Hawking told the BBC in an interview at the time.
“By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race,” he added. “However, we will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period.”
Such warnings about the future and the threat to human existence have also been issued by others and Hawking is not the only major figure in the technology and science world to have issued such warnings.
Humans must somehow merge with machines or risk becoming irrelevant in the age of AI, billionaire Elon Musk said earlier this year. And to do just that, the Tesla and SpaceX founder is working on a company called Neuralink.
And, because of the disruption caused by new technology and the internet, society could face decades of “pain”, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, meanwhile, has also recently warned.
Earlier in 2016, professor Stephen Hawking had issued similar warnings at Reith Lectures at the BBC where he said that as humans create “new ways things can go wrong”, humanity is being put at risk of self-annihilation by further progress in science and technology.
Chance of a disaster to planet Earth adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years even though chances of such an event in a given year may be quite low.
Until we are able to establish self-sustaining colonies in the next hundreds years, humanity needs to be “very careful in this period”, the world-renowned physicist suggested at that time last year.
“We must recognize the dangers and control them”, Hawking said, referring to further progress in science and technology, which he said cannot be stopped, or reversed.
(Adapted from CNBC)