Some Possible Resources

This section lays out some potentially useful resources to understanding the diversity of perspectives on existential risk. The signatories of the statement do not necessarily endorse these readings. Rather, these have been put together by Gideon Futerman to give some idea of previous arguments for or related to pluralism, and some examples of work that takes a variety of different approaches to studying existential risk. The hope here is that the reader will gain appreciation of the diversity of approaches that could be taken, and to some extent already are, to help concretize different ways pluralism does and could manifest itself.  It also ought to highlight how limited much of the present literature is, only exploring xrisk from a narrow range of assumptions and visions of the future, showing how much more research a pluralistic community could fill. Moreover, the authors are typically from a narrow range of demographics, and the perspectives presented are typically of a narrow group as well, highlighting the lack of many relevant diversities in the field at present. 

Works addressing perspectives on pluralism

Existential Risk, Creativity and Well Adapted Science by Adrian Currie

This paper discusses how the epistemic situation of existential risk studies demands scientific creativity, and explains many of the conditions useful for ensuring scientific creativity. 

Seven Questions for Existential Risk Studies by Lalitha Sundaram, Matthijs Maas and SJ Beard

This paper presents seven key questions about the organisation and methodologies used in existential risk studies that the authors view as 'crucial considerations' and discusses each of them and what responding to them ought to imply about the future of the field.

Worlding beyond 'the' 'end' of 'the world': white apocalyptic visions and BIPOC futurisms by Audra Mitchell and Aadita Chaudary

This paper explores how mainstream visions of the end of the world often end up dominated by fears of the loss of white futures and current power structures, meaning the imaginaries by which the end of the world is viewed ends up centring an exceptionally narrow range of perspectives and solutions, and how BIPOC futurism can readdress this balance. 

The world you can save; a brief introduction to Existential Risk Studies talk by SJ Beard

This talk lays out Beard's vision for what a field of ERS should look like, and justifies why we ought to have a plurality of approaches by exploring what the traditional story of XRisk misses and how we can make this more complex to get us a better understanding of XRisk and how to mitigate it.

Democratising Risk: In Search of a Methodology to Study Existential Risk by Carla Zoe Cremer and Luke Kemp

This paper describes a paradigm it defines as the Techno-Utopian Approach which it claims permeates existential risk studies, whilst presenting alternative visions for what a more 'democratic' field of ERS could look like.

Beyond Simple Existential Risk: Survival in a Complex Interconnected World talk by Gideon Futerman

This talk lays out two approaches to existential risk, and makes an argument why, in our epistemic situation, a pluralistic view that considers both approaches may be key. 

The Existential Risk Space of Climate Change by Christian Huggel, Laurens M. Bouwer, Sirkku Juhola, Reinhard Mechler, Veruska Muccione, Ben Orlove and Ivo Wallimann-Helmer

This paper explores different conceptions that different groups have had of existential risk, and therefore what the contours of the existential risk space of climate change look like. 





Works laying out some approaches to XRisk

Classifying Global Catastrophic Risks by Shahar Avin, Bonnie C. Wintle, Julius Weitzdörfer, Seán S. Ó hÉigeartaigh, William J. Sutherland, Martin J. Rees

This paper provides a conceptual framework for understanding GCR/XRisk as a combination of a critical system failure, that spreads globally, that we fail to mitigate.

Governing Boring Apocalypses by Hin-Lan Yua, Kristan Lauta and Matthijs Maas

This paper attempts to explore the neglected space of existential vulnerabilities and exposures, and attempts to create a more complex model of how to understand existential risk through expanding ERS beyond just studying hazards. 

Defence in Depth Against Human Extinction by Owen Cotton-Barrett, Max Daniel and Anders Sandberg

This paper breaks down pathways to existential catastrophe as involving the start of the damage, this damage spreading to a global catastrophe, and this catastrophe killing everyone, and highlights how a defence in depth model could make humanity stronger against these risks. 

Assessing climate change contribution to Global Catastrophic Risk by SJ Beard, Lauren Holt, Asaf Tzachor, Luke Kemp, Shahar Avin, Emile Torres, Haydn Belfield

This paper utilises the critical system framework to highlight how climate change risk could cascade through a variety of systems in a self-reinforcing 'global systems death spiral', providing a useful example of a particular approach to ERS.

The Precipice by Toby Ord

This book lays out many key assumptions underpinning much work on XRisk, including many of the methods used for reasoning about them, that treating hazards as separate 'risks' may be analytically and discursively most useful, includes some analysis of when intersecting risks may be most worrying,  includes reviews of the available literature and much more

The Precipice Book Review by Seth Baum

This review challenges many of the assumptions in the Precipice, chiefly the reliance on quantification and the neglect of civilisational collapse in the book.

Agents of Doom Media Article by Luke Kemp

This article presents a perspective of existential risk primarily focused on those 'agents of doom' who produce such risk, a perspective that is still rarely explored in existential risk studies. 

Feeding everyone if the sun is obscured and industry is disabled by David C. Denkenberger, D. Dorothea Cole, Mohamed Abdelkhaliq, Michael Griswold, Allen B. Hundley, Joshua M. Pearce

This paper takes an approach of focusing on increasing the resilience of a particular critical system (the food system) in response to a particular class of disaster (sunlight blocking events), providing an example of what non-hazard-centric xrisk research could look like

Forecasting Existential Risks by Ezra Karger, Josh Rosenberg, Zachary Jacobs, Molly Hickman, Rose Hadshar, Kayla Gamin, Taylor Smith, Bridget Williams, Tegan McCaslin, Philip E. Tetlock

This report utilises the method of superforecasting to quantify probabilities of existential catastrophe over a wide variety of contributors to existential risk. 

Vulnerable World Hypothesis by Nick Bostrom

This paper explores speculative future vulnerabilities to technological development, using an inherently speculative mode of XRisk reasoning to explore the dangers of the 'semi-anarchic default condition'; this uses specific hazards as examples, but is generally focusing on a less hazard-centric approach, rather on broad political solutions to the problem of dangerous technology development in general. 

Artificial Canaries: Early Warning Signs for Anticipatory and Democratic Governance of AI by Carla Zoe Cremer and Jess Whittlestone

This paper utilises an expert elicitation method to highlight the dependencies in different factors that may contribute towards transformative AI development, showing how greater understanding of the complexity of AI progress can greatly aid in foresight for anticipatory governance