Humans need to colonize another planet within 100 years or face the threat of extinction, Stephen Hawking has warned. At the beginning of 2016, Hawing warned about the dangers of nuclear war, global warming, genetically-engineered viruses, and the danger of artificial intelligence. In the new BBC documentary “Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth,” the professor warns that “the human race only has 100 years before we need to colonize another planet.”
“With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious,” Hawking adds in the film.
Hawking used to believe we had about 1,000 years left, but that timeline appears to have shortened.
“Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years,” Hawking told the BBC in an interview last year. “By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race. However, we will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period.”
Though Hawking’s timeline is more extreme than most, he is not the only visionary to warn about the threat to human existence. Earlier this year, Elon Musk said humans must merge with machines to avoid becoming irrelevant.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma, meanwhile, also recently warned that society could face decades of “pain” because of the disruption caused by new technology and the internet, CNBC notes.
What do you think of Hawking’s daunting prediction?