Humanity
Humanity
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Episode 188
Featuring Toby Ord
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Toby Ord, about humanity’s long-term future and the risks which threaten to put a premature end to our existence. Topics include the risks & likelihoods of nuclear war, human-engineered pandemics, unaligned artificial intelligence, asteroid impacts, supervolcanic eruptions, and more.

In Episode 188 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Toby Ord, a Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at Oxford University and author of “The Precipice,” a book that focuses on the big picture questions facing humanity’s long-term future and the risks which threaten to put a premature end to our existence.

The purpose of today’s conversation is first, to get you to reflect on this question of whether or not humanity and our future is worth fighting for, and second, to reflect on what that means in terms of human action, politics, and global cooperation. What are the existential risks that we face as a species? How do we calculate those risks? Where do we focus our attention, how do we prioritize, and finally, what can we do to mitigate those risks that we deem worthy of our attention?

For those interested in learning about existential risk factors, this part of the discussion begins near the forty-minute mark and focuses mainly on the threat of nuclear war and the geopolitical dimensions that escalate its likelihood. The overtime is spent primarily discussing the risks posed by both natural and engineered pandemics, biological terrorism, and artificial intelligence. The two also discuss asteroid impacts, climate change, and supervolcanic eruptions.

You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.

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Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas

Episode Recorded on 04/21/2021

Play
Episode 163
Featuring Fareed Zakaria
Episode 163
Featuring Fareed Zakaria

Toby Ord is a Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at Oxford University. His work focuses on the big picture questions facing humanity. What are the most important issues of our time? How can we best address them?  Toby's earlier work explored the ethics of global health and global poverty, demonstrating that aid has been highly successful on average and has the potential to be even more successful if we were to improve our priority setting. This led him to create an international society called Giving What We Can, whose members have pledged over $1.5 billion to the most effective charities helping to improve the world. He also co-founded the wider effective altruism movement, encouraging thousands of people to use reason and evidence to help others as much as possible. His current research is on the long-term future of humanity, and risks that threaten to destroy our entire potential. His new book, "The Precipice," explores these topics and concludes that safeguarding our future is among the most pressing and neglected issues we face.  Toby has advised the World Health Organization, the World Economic Forum, and the UK Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office. His work has been featured hundreds of times in the national and international media.

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