Computers, and the software that runs on them, are becoming more powerful at an ever-increasing rate. At the same time, more and more of our infrastructure is being controlled by computers which make decisions based on quantities of information that no individual human could process. Modern warfare has seen the use of unmanned aerial 'drones' which can be used to target specific locations or individuals, and it has been suggested that the human controlling these drones could be replaced by a machine. IBM's 'Watson' computer system is capable of answering questions in natural language and in 2011 became famous for winning the TV quiz show Jeopardy, defeating two human former-winners. It seems plausible that machines which can out-think humans will one day be mass-produced, and that these machines could in turn produce even more powerful devices, eventually rendering humanity irrelevant. Such machines might decide that humans were a threat to their existence, and decide to eliminate that threat, either directly through violent means, or indirectly by disrupting the infrastructure that modern civilisation relies upon.
Estimated time until sentient machines rise up against their human creators:
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DISCLAIMER: These Dates
of Impending Doom are intended as a general guideline only. We have had to estimate certain contributory factors to
the EOTWAWKI events, and
the timings may not be 100% accurate. We can not accept responsibility for any loss or inconvenience that may
arise should the world end earlier than indicated, or if it should fail to end when anticipated.