Nick Bostrom - Philosopher, Founding Director, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford


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Nick Bostrom is a Swedish-born philosopher with a background in theoretical physics, computational neuroscience, logic, and artificial intelligence, as well as philosophy. He is the most-cited professional philosopher in the world under the age of 50.

He is a Professor at Oxford University, where he heads the Future of Humanity Institute as its founding director. He is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias, Global Catastrophic Risks, Human Enhancement, and Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, a New York Times bestseller which helped spark a global conversation about the future of AI. He has also published a series of influential papers, including ones that introduced the simulation argument and the concept of existential risk.

Bostrom’s academic work has been translated into more than 30 languages. He is a repeat main TED speaker and has been on Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list twice and was included in Prospect’s World Thinkers list, the youngest person in the top 15. As a graduate student he dabbled in stand-up comedy on the London circuit, but he has since reconnected with the heavy gloom of his Swedish roots.

"I think maybe the critical issue here is the governance aspect which I think is one of the core sources of many of the greatest threats to human civilization on the planet. The difficulties we have in effectively tackling these global governance challenges. So global warming, I think, at its core is really a problem of the global commons. So we all share the same atmosphere and the same global climate, ultimately. And we have a certain reservoir, the environment can absorb a certain amount of carbon dioxide without damage, but if we put out too much, then we together face a negative consequence."