1. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence(AI): Yup. I am that person. ROBOTS SCARE ME OKAY. The most integral part of AI development is self-improvement through self-learning. That means that they keep on learning, constantly, and once they learn enough they won’t even need humans anymore. They will then, probably gain consciousness and will demand equal rights or maybe, even more rights than we have (If you think I am kidding just YouTube ‘Sophia the robot’) and what happens if we reject their demands? Well, just remember that they know everything about us at this point. They know our passwords, they have access to our databases, they can store and recall and use information like nothing else. In the new world, data is going to be the currency and these robots are going to be richer than all of us combined. We need only look at history to see how the rich tend to treat the poor.
(Just FYI, I am by no means the only person subscribing to this theory many people way smarter than me like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have also expressed their deep concerns about the alarming rate of development seen in AI and our lack of understanding the threat imposed thereof. Elon says that all the mistakes we make while forging AI will cost us dearly; it’s like we are test running new technology but if these tests fail it is not the technology that would be destroyed. We would be. Yikes)
2. Alien Invasion: “…we only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.”- Stephen Hawking
The probability of us finding (or even to have already found) extraterrestrial life isn’t all that odd. The universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old and the distance between Earth and the observable part of the universe is nearly 46 billion light-years (1 light year= 9,500,000,000,000 kilometers).
The universe is a pretty damn big place and to believe that we are the sole surviving intelligent species seems to be sort of presumptuous of us, to say the least.
As for them finding us? We are doing whatever we can to make that happen; NASA has sent not only the pulsar map that very conveniently points any passerby to the location of our home planet but also provides them with the anatomy of the human body.
That means if someone, anyone, does end up finding it, they will not only have known where to find us but would also have gained an intricate knowledge about our body structure and where exactly to attack. Thanks, NASA.
3. Asteroids: Fun fact - You are more likely to die by an asteroid hit than you are from an airplane crash.
There is a 1 in 2,50,000 chance that an asteroid will strike the earth by 2036 and the worst part isn’t even how probable it is that this might happen but that if it does then we are basically done for.
At this (and for a fairly foreseeable amount of) time there is absolutely nothing that can be done to prevent or deal with an impact that big. What can we do?
We can try blowing it up but we don’t have lasers powerful enough for that and even if we did, the kinetic energy that would be released by the smaller parts will be enough to do the work big daddy first set out to do. You can try diverting it but for that, you will need to make something that has a significantly higher gravitational pull than the earth does and last I checked we don’t really have anything like that. I guess the best thing you can do if this actually does happen is: call your friends, get some food, crank up the music and have an awesome “end of the world” party. C’mon. Cheer up. This isn’t even a bad way to go. Wait till you read No.4 on this list.
4. We’re all living in a simulation: 60 years ago we had pong, 30 years after that we had sims and now we have virtual reality. So, logically, if we keep following this trend of technological development it is not absurd to imagine that perhaps 10,000 years from now we will be so advanced that we will be able to create complete and comprehensive worlds with artificial characters in it. Here’s the scary side of it- what if that has already happened? What if we, right now, me typing this article on the airplane and you reading this on your phone, are not real? Because let me tell you that the problem here isn’t that we can’t prove that we are real but that we can’t prove that we are not unreal. Think about simulations like a never-ending loop; there is a base reality that makes a simulation and then that simulation creates its own simulation and this keeps on going on. Indefinitely. Forever. Say, you were to throw a dart through these loops, the chances of hitting base reality? Yeah, those odds are really, really small. Get it now? It’s okay if you don’t. Maybe you were just programmed that way.
5. Zombie apocalypse: Okay listen. Just hear me out. I contemplated a lot before adding this to the list.
Do I believe that this is plausible?
Oh hell no.
Do I believe that it is a cool way to go?
The funniest thing, I think, is whenever they show zombie apocalyptic situations in media, they are not like the forced love triangles (“RUN KAREN! HE CAN'T UNDERSTAND YOU! HE’S A ZOMBIEEEEE-” “But--but I LOVE HIM!” ugh. Disgusting.) but how they exhibit it as an eventual thing that will happen. Like how slowly it will spread and escalate. I firmly disagree with that and introduce you to “A train to Busan” this awesome Korean zombie flick that changed my mind about them. The movie portrayed zombies as being fast and competent and as humans as well, humans. Resourceful and emotional to a fault. It showcased the gritty reality of emotions costing us very dearly. We live in a global village. Information and diseases spread like wildfires. It will be at your doorstep before you know it or have the time to react to it. Death by zombies is not going to be a long drawn out battle like our impending war with the robots and neither is it going to be a fast obliteration like being hit by an asteroid. It’s going to be fast, dirty and absolutely gruesome.
Sign me up.