It all started with an Ask Me Anything on Reddit.
Back in 2015, renowned physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking warned in his AMA that artificial intelligence would lead to the downfall of humanity as we know it. The rise of the machines would mean that Earth’s current inhabitants would need to flee their AI overlords and rebuild civilization on another planet. Unfortunately, he cautioned at the same time that aliens probably aren’t as friendly as we think they are.
A conundrum, to be sure. Luckily, he estimated that we wouldn’t need to abandon Earth for another 1,000 years.
Whew, that’s a nice reprieve.
Oh, but wait. Hawking now says that his doomsday scenario has sped up greatly, and humans can expect to have to flee within 100 years.
Hawking lays out his new scenario in an upcoming documentary called Expedition New Earth, which airs in the U.K. on June 15th. In the meantime, get your escape pods ready.