Adventure Outdoors Magazine Summer 2016 - Page 84

Perhaps a more daunting idea, other than a mysterious disease that may curtain humanity, is the possibility of human creations overtaking humans themselves. We are far more technologically advanced than we give ourselves credit for, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics researchers, along with physicists and scientific scholars, are all starting to come to one conclusion: AI is making leaps & bounds , and the projected decades “ before AI existence and influence” are becoming mere years. The open letter on autonomous weapons that was announced in the summer of 2015 by the Future of Life Institute, and signed by over 20,000 scientific doctorates and award winning physicists, such as Stephen Hawking, was a successful attempt at bringing awareness to the arms race. In turn, the Doomsday Clock (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) has maintained the 2015-2016 prediction of an insanely close “three minutes to midnight.” The only time it was any closer (2 minutes to midnight) was in 1953, after the U.S. decided to pursue the hydrogen bomb. The ideas that swirl together with AI and the Doomsday Clock are a haunting mixture of being too intelligent for our own good, and/or simply not intelligent enough to overpower natural selection and evolution. Another topic of doomsday discussion is extraterrestrial invasion. But, let’s face it, there isn’t enough time in a century to come to a solidified consensus about what exists and what doesn’t, what is a real threat and what isn’t; And that’s not why we’re here. This checklist is a simple set of guidelines for what to stock up on. Should there ever come a day where you will need it, then you’ll be prepared. If not, well then at least you’ve got a great little stockpile. We hope for the latter, and no matter how you’re preparing, or what you’re preparing for, these things are essential to maintaining life in any situation. 82 Summer 2016 Adventure Outdoors