28th April 2018

Progressive Risks

These risks are called progressive, because their impact increases with time and they are not immediate yet. There are at least two types of such risks: Superintelligence and Climate Change. They both have some additional characteristics – these are risks that would certainly materialize if we do nothing, as opposed to other risks covered here, which are of a ‘lottery’ type. The top two progressive risks are

  1. Superintelligence the risk of which may partially materialize starting from around 2030 and then quickly having a wider and much more severe impact. This risk is covered in a separate section
  2. Climate Change whose impact may be severely felt already in mid this century, although may not be existential yet. Conventional modelling of climate change has focused on the most likely outcome: global warming by up to 4C. But there is a risk that feedback loops, such as the release of methane from Arctic permafrost, could produce an increase in temperature of about 6C or more by the end of this century. Mass deaths through starvation and social unrest could then lead to the collapse of civilisation.

Next: Combinatorial Risks