The most important century in human history
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The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a Second Industrial Revolution, automation and digitization in the late 20th century ushered in a Third Industrial Revolution, and now, the world is staring down the barrel of a Fourth Industrial Revolution—a time of unprecedented advancement, accompanied by more existential risks than ever before. Since the first wartime use of nuclear weapons in 1945, the risk of self-destruction through warfare—along with other side effects of human invention like climate change and pandemics—has dramatically increased (for more on the chances of another pandemic occurring in your lifetime, watch this TED-Ed video).
There are also growing risks emerging from the development of artificial intelligence technologies (read about the three types of AI here). Many AI researchers have ambitious estimates about when Artificial General Intelligence (AI that can solve problems as well as humans) will be achieved. However, if that feels unnerving to you, rest assured that other experts predict that looming developments like these might be farther ahead of us than we're often led to believe. For more comforting news, read about the work the Stanford Existential Risks Initiative has been doing to mitigate the dangers of our rapidly developing world.
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