Dr Nick Bostrom, Director of the Oxford Future of Humanity Institute
Abstract: The future of humanity is often viewed as a topic for idle speculation. Yet our beliefs and assumptions on this subject matter shape decisions in both our personal lives and public policy – decisions that have very real and sometimes unfortunate consequences. It is therefore practically important to try to develop a realistic mode of futuristic thought about big picture questions for humanity. This seminar sketches an overview of some recent attempts in this direction, and it offers a brief discussion of four families of scenarios for humanity’s future: extinction, recurrent collapse, plateau, and posthumanity.