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Stephen Hawking Believes we’ll have to leave Earth in less than 600 years

Stephen Hawking has brought his timeline for humankind from 1000 to 600 years recently in terms of time remaining to thrive on Earth. He suggests we need to colonize other planets urgently.

The Threat of AI and Global Warming May Both have a Common Solution

Stephen Hawking warns that AI could be the worst invention in human history and that global warming will quickly make the Earth less and less habitable for human beings.

Hawking recently spoke at a technology conference in Portugal, where he told the audience that maintaining control of artificial intelligence is absolutely paramount to keeping the human race alive.

The race to AI and space colonization might be the two most important endeavors of the human species in the 21st century, not just for our progress, but for our survival.

The Earth May only be Habitable for 600 More Years

Elon Musk and Hawking both popularize these priorities and concerns, and give a realistic timeline of how urgent the situation is. It’s unclear how the richest man on the planet Jeff Bezos will respond to these callings, but given that Bezos has BlueOrigin that is a privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company founded in 2000, chances are Amazon will be implicated in space colonization in the 2030 or 2040s. Hawking has started to strike a more urgent note of late about the importance of splinter colonies.

Hawking amended previous estimates of this timeline by saying that humans must leave Earth within 600 years.

As global corporations search for new growth, monetizing the space race might be the ideal application of automation, robots and a way to improve the aerospace global industry to reach the next level that ensures the security of homo sapiens. We’ve been such a biodiversity annihilator, we need to show the galaxy that we aren’t only a destructive and self-centered species. Surviving the challenges of own making is only step one.

Leaving the Earth Means Continuing our Tradition as Explorers

We don’t really know if AI could easily achieve an artificial general intelligence and self-learn in a few months what humanity has done in the last 65,000 years. Applications of technology such as robots and quantum computing open up new channels for AI to self-learn and accelerate us potentially towards a technological singularity of artificial intelligence.

Having human splinter colonies on earth-like planets, something our present golden age of exoplanet discovery indicates are plentiful, means giving ourselves the best chance of not only surviving challenges like global warming, AI evolution, population increases and economic problems, but thriving in a more inclusive and diversified extension of the species across time and space.

The exaggerated warnings of Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking might seem alarmist now, but how will they seem twenty or fifty years in the future? For the scale evolution, these are but blinks of cosmic seconds of our destiny as human beings.

Considering the speed that global temperatures are warming at and how quickly machine intelligence is impacting all of human life, it’s hard for homo sapiens to accurately predict their own futures. Hawking believes human ingenuity get us to Proxima b and in the next 100 years, if not sooner. A Martian colony could be a good “test-project” for humanity’s galactic will to explore and continue in our adventure as nomads, explorers and whatever manifest destiny will be inherited by whatever merger of human and artificial intelligence symbiosis we become.

The Corporate Space Race is our Best Hope

If NASA has failed us in our quest for great horizons, perhaps it’s time we turn to corporations and petition them to get involved such as SpaceX is doing. There’s little evidence governments or space agencies have the means or the ability to accomplish these far reaching goals that impact our long-term future.

So much of what human beings do are in immediate reaction to economic and short-term circumstances largely regional and political in nature. However, for humanity to survive with the help of AI, we’ll need to start to think more multi-generational and plan for our collective future with more care as custodians, and not simply destroyers and harvesters of the Earth at great cost to the ecosystems that developed over millions of years.

The Race to AI or even the arrival at AGI is meaningless if homo sapiens don’t survive. It’s unlikely AI would be able to embody the human spirit of the one species that grew to envelope the Earth. Whatever our descendents become, the human journey isn’t just about profit and exploitation, but hopefully a new kind of idealism in our newfound technological maturity.

Corporate Entities, Not Countries will Fuel our Path to the Stars

Projecting how wealth inequality will continue to scale, a few gigantic corporations will have more and more economic, digital and data power over the rest of all the world. It’s up to these few corporations that emerge after capitalism to lead humanity into its next state of being. The Chinese one-part socialist state will soon have the capacity to increase the power of its super corporations such as Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and others. Eventually these companies and whatever other American and global corporations survive, will have to look to how to fuel the next stage of human evolution not just on Earth, but on other planets.

If human beings showed they were too slow to react to the dangers of global warming, it’s not clear if history will repeat itself with AI or the need for new homes in the stars, time will tell but our time is getting shorter.

All of our human achievements, courage and sacrifices mean nothing, if our descendents don’t have a path to surviving. All the life we killed, the biodiversity we ruined and all the ecosystems we mutilated are simply casualties of a brute animal if we cannot redeem ourselves. The galaxy has been watching us for centuries, we are not alone. We must start to align ourselves with what is after capitalism and the human-AI symbiosis to leverage it to discover what homo sapiens can become.

Our survival is not secure, our brutality may be just a cosmic mistake, unless we learn to see the wisdom of making new homes in the stars.