Director of the institute, Dr Bostrom says there is a real gap between the speed of technological advance and our understanding of its implications. In other words, we're like children pressing random buttons on sophisticated technology with no idea of the consequences. But he predicts an approaching change for the human condition whether or not we're ready for it.
The risk of extinction from asteroid impacts and super-volcanic eruptions remains minute for the next hundred years.
Nuclear war might cause appalling destruction, but enough individuals could survive to allow the species to continue. That's reassuring. But what's the bad news?
Dr Bostrom believes we've entered a new kind of technological era which threatens our future as never before. We have no track record of surviving these new threats.
During warfare, future governments will have a major challenge to control and restrict misuses of nanotechnology at a molecular or atomic level.
There are also fears about how artificial or machine intelligence interact with the external world.
In terms of risks from biology, he worries about misguided good intentions, as experiments carry out genetic modifications, dismantling and rebuilding genetic structures. There is always the risk of an unintended sequence of events or something that becomes harmful when transferred into another environment.
Mmmm. I can only speculate on which device or catastrophe will threaten mankind. Well, I've already done so in the Higher Ground novels.