Foresight: Volume 21 Issue 1


The journal of future studies, strategic thinking and policy

Table of contents - Special Issue: Existential risk to humanity

Guest Editors: Olle Häggström, Catherine Rhodes

Facing disaster: the great challenges framework

Phil Torres

This paper provides a detailed survey of the greatest dangers facing humanity this century. It argues that there are three broad classes of risks – the “Great Challenges” – that…

Complexity, creeping normalcy and conceit: sexy and unsexy catastrophic risks

Karin Kuhlemann

This paper aims to consider few cognitive and conceptual obstacles to engagement with global catastrophic risks (GCRs).

Long-term trajectories of human civilization

Seth D. Baum, Stuart Armstrong, Timoteus Ekenstedt, Olle Häggström, Robin Hanson, Karin Kuhlemann, Matthijs M. Maas, James D. Miller, Markus Salmela, Anders Sandberg, Kaj Sotala, Phil Torres, Alexey Turchin, Roman V. Yampolskiy

This paper aims to formalize long-term trajectories of human civilization as a scientific and ethical field of study. The long-term trajectory of human civilization can be defined…


There is plenty of time at the bottom: the economics, risk and ethics of time compression

Anders Sandberg

The speed of computing and other automated processes plays an important role in how the world functions by causing “time compression”. This paper aims to review reasons to believe…

Islands as refuges for surviving global catastrophes

Alexey Turchin, Brian Patrick Green

Islands have long been discussed as refuges from global catastrophes; this paper will evaluate them systematically, discussing both the positives and negatives of islands as…

Food without sun: price and life-saving potential

David Denkenberger, Joshua Pearce, Andrew Ray Taylor, Ryan Black

The purpose of this study is to estimate the price and life-saving potential of alternate foods. The sun could be blocked by asteroid impact, supervolcanic eruption or nuclear…

When two existential risks are better than one

James Daniel Miller

The great filter and an unfriendly artificial general intelligence might pose existential risks to humanity, but these two risks are anti-correlated. The purpose of this paper is…


Predicting future AI failures from historic examples

Roman V. Yampolskiy

The purpose of this paper is to explain to readers how intelligent systems can fail and how artificial intelligence (AI) safety is different from cybersecurity. The goal of…


Challenges to the Omohundro–Bostrom framework for AI motivations

Olle Häggström

This paper aims to contribute to the futurology of a possible artificial intelligence (AI) breakthrough, by reexamining the Omohundro–Bostrom theory for instrumental vs final AI…

The intelligence explosion revisited

Karim Jebari, Joakim Lundborg

The claim that super intelligent machines constitute a major existential risk was recently defended in Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence and forms the basis of the…

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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  • Prof Ozcan Saritas