Futureproof's Live Event on the Greatest Threats to Humanity

24 November 2023

Newstalk Radio’s acclaimed science show, “Futureproof,” hosted by Jonathan McCrea, recently held a live event at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre as part of the Science Week events. The episode aimed to spark conversations and debate on the topic of ‘What are the biggest threats to humanity?’. 

The potential end of humanity has long been a topic of both scientific study and popular speculation. From the cosmic threats of asteroids and super-volcanoes to the rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence and the dangers of biological agents like killer fungi, the range of possibilities is as broad as it is alarming.

In this special episode of Futureproof, recorded before a live audience, Jonathan McCrea posed the critical question: Among these looming threats, which poses the greatest risk to human existence?

To delve into this existential query, Futureproof welcomed a panel of distinguished experts that included Professor Robert Ross, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science at TU Dublin and a Principal Investigator at the SFI ADAPT Centre, brought insights into the increasingly influential realm of Artificial Intelligence. His expertise shed light on how AI advancements could pose unforeseen challenges to humanity’s future.

He was joining by Professor Chris Bean, Senior Professor and Head of Geophysics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Professor Caitriona Jackman, a Senior Professor of Space Physics at Dunsink Observatory, and Jerry Clancy, PhD student at the School of Chemical Sciences in DCU.  

The expert gathering discussed and debated the probabilities and potential impacts of these various end-of-the-world scenarios. The event not only highlighted the scientific aspects of these threats but also brought to the forefront the societal and ethical considerations involved in preparing for and potentially preventing these global risks. As these experts unraveled the complexities of each potential threat, the audience was invited to ponder the future of humanity in an increasingly uncertain world, all with a bit of humour!

To listen to this special episode, click here.