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The 4 greatest threats to the survival of humanity

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With the invention of the atomic bomb, humanity gained the power to destroy itself for the first time in our history. Since then, our risk of either extinction or the collapse of civilization has steadily increased. Just how likely are we to destroy ourselves? And what poses the greatest threat to our survival? Dig into four existential threats and explore how we can safeguard our future.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Director Reza Riahi
  • Script Writer Elizabeth Cox
  • Narrator Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Storyboard Artist Reza Riahi
  • Animator Mehdi Shiri, Audrey Chevrolle
  • Art Director Reza Riahi
  • Music André Aires
  • Sound Designer André Aires
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Producer Anna Bechtol
  • Associate Producer Sazia Afrin
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-Checker Jennifer Nam
Additional Resources for you to Explore
To learn more about the existential risks of our time and how we can prevent them, read The Precipice by philosopher Toby Ord. Read the academic papers Existential Risk Prevention as Global Priority and Existential Risks by Nick Bostrom. The book Human Compatible by Stuart Russell is a deep dive into the potential threat posed by superintelligent AI. Visit University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute to find more academic research on this topic.

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Director Reza Riahi
  • Script Writer Elizabeth Cox
  • Narrator Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Storyboard Artist Reza Riahi
  • Animator Mehdi Shiri, Audrey Chevrolle
  • Art Director Reza Riahi
  • Music André Aires
  • Sound Designer André Aires
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Producer Anna Bechtol
  • Associate Producer Sazia Afrin
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-Checker Jennifer Nam