Human extinction

Bostrom, Nick (2002) Existential risks: Analyzing human extinction scenarios and related hazards, Journal of evolution and technology, vol. 9.
The section “Assessing the Probability of Existential Risks” discusses methods of estimating the probability of human extinction.

Brauner, Jan & Friederike Grosse-Holz (2018) The expected value of extinction risk reduction is positive, Effective Altruism Forum, December 9, sect.section 1.3.

In Toby Ord's typology, human extinction constitutes one of the three main types of existential catastrophe (Ord 2020).[1]

BibliographyFurther reading

In Toby Ord's typology, human extinction constitutes one of the three main types of existential catastrophe (Ord 2020).[1]

Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, Bloomsbury/Hachette.London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

  1. ^

    Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, fig. 5.2.

Applied to Preventing human extinction by Lizka at 6mo

In Toby Ord's typology, human extinction constitutes one of the three main types of existential catastrophe (Ord 2020).

Matheny, Jason Gaverick (2007) Reducing the risk of human extinction, Risk Analysis, vol. 27, pp. 1335–1344.
A paper exploring the cost-effectiveness of extinction risk reduction.

PrematureIn Toby Ord's typology, human extinction isconstitutes one of several scenarios forthe three main types of humanity’s future. If we accept that extinction is very important to avoid, then it is important to judge how likely it is. Also, if it appears that human extinction is inevitable, then that would be a reason to abandon long-term perspectives in favor of short-term impacts when trying to do good.

One way to estimate the probability of extinction is to estimate the probabilities of individual extinction risks, such as the risk from nuclear war or artificial intelligence, and then to combine them into an overall figure.

Another approach is to use more abstract arguments, for instance ones that draw from the Fermi paradoxexistential catastrophe.

A few prominent academics have offered their own personal estimates of the probability that humans will go extinct or face a civilizational collapse. The philosopher Nick Bostrom has placed the odds that humans will go extinct at greater than 25%, though he doesn't specify by what date. The astrophysicist Martin Rees has placed the odds of a civilizational collapse in this century at 50%. It's unclear, however, how much can be inferred from these subjective estimates.

Premature human extinction is one of several scenarios for humanity’s long-term future.future. If we accept that extinction is very important to avoid, then it is important to judge how likely it is. Also, if it appears that human extinction is inevitable, then that would be a reason to focus more onabandon long-term perspectives in favor of short-term impacts when trying to do good.

One way to estimate the probability of extinction is to estimate the probabilities of individual extinction risks,risks, such as the risk from nuclear war or artificial intelligence, and then to combine them into an overall figure.

Bostrom, Nick (2003) Human extinction, in Paul Demeny & Geoffrey McNicoll (eds.) Encyclopedia of Population, New York: Macmillan Reference, pp. 340–342.

Bostrom, Nick (2013) Existential risk prevention as global priority, Global Policy, vol. 4, pp. 15–31.

Brauner, Jan & Friederike Grosse-Holz (2018) The expected value of extinction risk reduction is positive, Effective Altruism Forum, December 9, sect. 1.3.

Cotton-Barratt, Owen, Max Daniel & Anders Sandberg (2020) Defence in depth against human extinction: prevention, response, resilience, and why they all matter, Global Policy, vol. 11, pp. 271–282.
Identifies three defence layers against extinction, corresponding to successive stages in the progression of risk.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientistsexistential risk | Russell–Einstein Manifestolong-term future