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Simon Friederich & Andreas Schmidt: Longtermism and Existential Risk

When:We 04-03-2020 20:00 - 21:30
Where:Room Omega

The Next One Billion Years: Introduction to Longtermism and Existential Risk

Climate change, advances in artificial intelligence and other recent developments urge us to consider how our actions now affect humanity’s long-term future. What moral duties do we have towards future people? And what do those duties imply practically, for individual action and public policy for example? In this talk, Andreas Schmidt (Philosophy) and Simon Friederich (UCG) will give an introduction to the main themes of the Groningen Longtermism Lecture Series. Andreas will discuss the ethics of future generations and discuss one radical approach: according to longtermism, because future people potentially vastly outnumber us, we often have overriding duties to attend to future people's wellbeing, including millions of years from now. Simon Friederich will discuss how focusing on humanity’s future more generally urges us to consider risks that threaten humanity’s survival. They will then briefly survey some of those existential risks, including catastrophic climate change, AI takeover risk, pandemics and others.

The Groningen Longtermism Lecture Series is organised by the Centre for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) in cooperation with Effective Altruism Groningen. From an interdisciplinary perspective, expert researchers will get us thinking about humanity’s long-term prospects and challenges. A central focus will be existential risks, such as catastrophic climate change, AI risk, pandemics and others. What can and should we do, both as a society and as individuals, to contribute to humanity’s long-term flourishing? Come and find out – everyone welcome!