Eugenicist Bill Gates Advocates Global Depopulation & Death Panels

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They Really Do Want To Reduce The Population – 22 Shocking Population Control Quotes From The Global Elite

By Michael Snyder

First posted on June 10th, 2010

endoftheamericandream.com

Most Americans have absolutely no idea, but a very dark philosophy is spreading like wildfire among the global elite.  This philosophy is an obsessive belief that humanity has become a cancer that is destroying the earth.  There are now large numbers of global leaders that are convinced that the exploding population of the world has become like a virus or a plague, and that it must be combated as such.  In fact, it would be very difficult to understate just how obsessed many members of the global elite are with population control.  The United Nations puts out position papers about it, universities have entire courses dedicated to it, radical population control advocates have been appointed to some of the highest political positions in the world, and some of the wealthiest people on the planet get together just to talk about it.  Those who believe in this philosophy are constantly talking about the need for “increased access” to abortion, contraception and other “family planning” services.  But even with all of their efforts, the population of the world is still expanding and those who believe in this population control philosophy are getting nervous.

So just who are these people among the global elite who believe so fervently in population control?  Some of the names you are about to read below might totally shock you.  Many of them are some of the biggest names in the world.  For example, Prince Charles gave a major speech just the other day in which he bemoaned the rapidly expanding world population: “I could have chosen Mumbai, Cairo or Mexico City; wherever you look, the world’s population is increasing fast. It goes up by the equivalent of the entire population of the United Kingdom every year. Which means that this poor planet of ours, which already struggles to sustain 6.8 billion people, will somehow have to support over 9 billion people within 50 years.”

Many among the global elite believe that the growing world population is the number one problem facing the world.  Many of them are absolutely convinced that overpopulation is the primary cause of “climate change”, is ruining our environment, and threatens to turn the entire globe into one gigantic third world slum.

Of course all of that is nonsense, but this is what they actually believe, and the scary thing is that most of them are in positions of power and influence where they can actually do quite a bit to advance their insidious agenda.

The following are 22 shocking population control quotes from the global elite that will make you want to lose your lunch….

#1) The March 2009 U.N. Population Division policy brief….

“What would it take to accelerate fertility decline in the least developed countries?”

#2) Microsoft’s Bill Gates….

“The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s heading up to about nine billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”

#3) Barack Obama’s top science advisor, John P. Holdren….

“A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men.

The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.”

#4) George W. Bush’s science advisor Paul Ehrlich….

“Each person we add now disproportionately impacts on the environment and life-support systems of the planet.”

#5) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg….

“Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

#6) A United Nations Population Fund report entitled “Facing a Changing World: Women, Population and Climate”….

“No human is genuinely ‘carbon neutral,’ especially when all greenhouse gases are figured into the equation.”

#7) David Rockefeller….

“The negative impact of population growth on all of our planetary ecosystems is becoming appallingly evident.”

#8) Jacques Cousteau….

“In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day.”

#9) CNN Founder Ted Turner….

“A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”

#10) Dave Foreman, Earth First Co-Founder….

“My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”

#11) Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh….

“If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”

#12) David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club….

“Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license … All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”

#13) Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger….

“The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

#14) Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger. Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12….

“Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.”

#15) Princeton philosopher Peter Singer….

“So why don’t we make ourselves the last generation on earth? If we would all agree to have ourselves sterilized then no sacrifices would be required — we could party our way into extinction!”

#16) Thomas Ferguson, former official in the U.S. State Department Office of Population Affairs….

“There is a single theme behind all our work–we must reduce population levels. Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it….”

#17) Mikhail Gorbachev….

“We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.”

#18) John Guillebaud, professor of family planning at University College London….

“The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights. An extra child is the equivalent of a lot of flights across the planet.”

#19) Professor of Biology at the University of Texas at Austin Eric R. Pianka….

“This planet might be able to support perhaps as many as half a billion people who could live a sustainable life in relative comfort. Human populations must be greatly diminished, and as quickly as possible to limit further environmental damage.”

#20) U.S. Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton….

“This year, the United States renewed funding of reproductive healthcare through the United Nations Population Fund, and more funding is on the way.  The U.S. Congress recently appropriated more than $648 million in foreign assistance to family planning and reproductive health programs worldwide. That’s the largest allocation in more than a decade – since we last had a Democratic president, I might add.”

#21) Clinton adviser Nina Fedoroff….

“We need to continue to decrease the growth rate of the global population; the planet can’t support many more people.”

#22) The first of the “new 10 commandments” on the Georgia Guidestones….

“Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”

Europe plunged into energy crisis as Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine

  • Gas prices rise in London
  • Bulgaria reaches ‘crisis’ point

Russia cut gas exports to Europe by 60 per cent today, plunging the continent into an energy crisis ‘within hours’ as a dispute with Ukraine escalated.
This morning, gas companies in Ukraine said that Russia had completely cut off their supply.

Six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas shipped via Ukraine today, in a sharp escalation of a struggle over energy that threatens Europe as winter sets in.

Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments from Russia through Ukraine.

Croatia said it was temporarily reducing supplies to industrial customers while Bulgaria said it had enough gas for only ‘for a few days’ and was in a ‘crisis situation’.

putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, speaks to Gazprom chairman Alexei Miller during a meeting yesterday

The European Union in Brussels called the sudden cut-off to some of its member countries ‘completely unacceptable’.

The EU demanded the two sides reopen talks as the row immediately sparked fears of gas supply shortages and rising energy prices in the UK.

The UK is suffering one of its coldest nights this century with temperatures plunging to as low as -10C.

Though Britain is one of Gazprom’s largest importers – relying on the company for some 16 per cent of consumption in 2007, according to The Times, the gas is supplied through a complicated swap scheme that means supplies themselves may not be affected.

Prices, on the other hand, rose during trading in London today.

dmitry medvedev and vladimir putin

Dmitry Medvedev and  Vladimir Putin on the slopes last week. Putin ordered Gazprom to cut supplies to and through Ukraine by around three-fifths

The dispute, coupled with Israel’s military operation in Gaza, also pushed oil up to a three-week high of $49.91 in New York yesterday.

Russia, whose main export is oil, stands to benefit from a recovery in prices.

‘Without prior warning and in clear contradiction with the reassurances given by the highest Russian and Ukrainian authorities to the European Union, gas supplies to some EU member states have been substantially cut,’ the EU said in a statement.

‘The Czech EU Presidency and the European Commission demand that gas supplies be restored immediately to the EU and that the two parties resume negotiations at once with a view to a definitive settlement of their bilateral commercial dispute,’ the presidency and the Commission said in a joint statement.

They added that the EU would ‘intensify the dialogue with both parties so that they can reach an agreement swiftly’.

Overnight the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered the state energy giant Gazprom to cut supplies to and through Ukraine by around three-fifths amid accusations its neighbour has been siphoning off and stealing Russian gas.

Ukraine says the Russian move has been prompted by payment and price disputes, a row between the two that has become almost annual.

The effects of the dispute on the rest of Europe however is stark, said Ukraine’s main gas supplier.

Around 80 per cent of the gas European Union countries receive from Russia comes through Ukraine.

While Germany and France are much more exposed, it is reckoned in some estimates that 15 per cent of Britain’s supplies come from Russia through pipelines into the UK’s east coast.

‘They [the Russians] have reduced deliveries to 92million cubic metres per 24 hours compared to the promised 221million cubic metres without explanation,’ said Valentin Zemlyansky of the Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz.

‘We do not understand how we will deliver gas to Europe. This means that in a few hours problems with supplies to Europe will begin.’

Wholesale gas prices have already risen on the back of the rallying price of oil, up 50 per cent in the last fortnight to more than $48 a barrel on the back of Middle East tension over Israeli incursions into Palestinian-held Gaza.

The dispute stokes fears Britain is overreliant on imported gas. North Sea stocks are dwindling, though initiatives are in place to build the Langeled pipeline from Norway, improve underground long-term storage facilities and receive liquefied natural gas by ship from Africa and Asia.

Eastern and central European countries are already reporting supply problems, including the Czech Republic which has the current presidency of the EU. The EU as a whole depends on Russia for 25 per cent of its gas supplies.

————————

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France deploys 10,000 troops in search for attack accomplices

Associated Press

1/12/15

 

PARIS (AP) — France ordered 10,000 troops into the streets Monday to protect sensitive sites — nearly half of them to guard Jewish schools — as it hunted for accomplices to the Islamic militants who left 17 people dead as they terrorized the nation.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the search is urgent because “the threat is still present” after the attacks that began Wednesday with a massacre at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and ended when three attackers were killed Friday in two nearly simultaneous clashes with security forces around Paris.

By midday Monday, Paris’ Marais — one of the country’s oldest Jewish neighborhoods — was filled with police and soldiers. Some 4,700 of the security forces would be assigned to protect France’s 717 Jewish schools, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

“A little girl was telling me earlier that she wanted to live in peace and learn in peace in her school,” Cazeneuve as on a visit to a Paris Jewish classroom, where the walls were covered with children’s drawings of smiling faces.

“That’s what the government, that’s what the Republic, owes to all the children in France: security in all schools, especially in the schools that could be threatened,” he added.

The children listened and waved both Israeli and French flags.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the nationwide deployment of troops would be completed by Tuesday and would focus on the most sensitive locations.

“The work on these attacks, on these terrorist and barbaric acts continues … because we consider that there are most probably some possible accomplices,” Valls told BFM television.

It was not clear exactly how many accomplices French forces were hunting for in addition to Hayat Boumeddiene, the widow of Amedy Coulibaly, the Islamic State group attacker who killed four hostages Friday at a kosher grocery in Paris before being killed by security forces.

But several others possible suspects appeared on their radar. French police have said the Charlie Hebdo attacks that left 12 dead were carried out by three people, but only two of those attackers — brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi — have been found.

In addition, video emerged Sunday of Coulibaly explaining how the attacks in Paris would unfold. French police want to find the person or persons who shot and posted the video, which was edited after the attacks that ended with Coulibaly being killed Friday.

 

Boumeddiene herself was seen traveling through Turkey with a male companion before reportedly arriving in Syria with him on Jan. 8 — the day after the Charlie Hebdo attack and the same day Coulibaly began his murderous spree by shooting dead a Paris policewoman.

Security camera video footage shown Monday by Turkey’s Haberturk Television network showed Boumeddiene arriving at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport on Jan. 2 — five days before the first terror attack in Paris. A high ranking Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the woman on the video was Boumeddiene.

Turkish intelligence then tracked Boumeddiene from her arrival.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the state-run Anadolu Agency that she had stayed at a hotel in Istanbul with another person before crossing into Syria on Thursday. She and her traveling companion, a 23-year-old man, toured Istanbul, then left Jan. 4 for a town near the Turkish border, according to a Turkish intelligence official who was not authorized to speak on the record.

Her last phone signal was on Jan. 8 from the border town of Akcakale, where she crossed over apparently into Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria, the official said. Their Jan. 9 return plane tickets to Madrid went unused.

Survivors say the Charlie Hebdo attackers, two brothers from Paris, claimed they were being supported by al-Qaida in Yemen, the group the U.S. considers the most dangerous offshoot of that network. In his video and in comments to French media before he died, Coulibaly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, which has taken over large sections of Iraq and Syria.

Ties among the three attackers date back to at least 2005, when Coulibaly and Charlie Hebdo attacker Cherif Kouachi, 32, were jailed together. It later emerged that Cherif’s older brother, 34-year-old Said, the other Charlie Hebdo gunman, fought with or was trained by al-Qaida in Yemen.

Cherif Kouachi was also convicted in 2008 along with several others of belonging to a network that sent jihadis to fight American forces in Iraq.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday visited the Paris kosher grocery where four of the hostages were killed Friday. Volunteers, meanwhile, recited prayers over the bodies of some hostage victims as they were prepared for burial by the Jewish Burial Society in Paris.

___

Associated Press writers Thomas Adamson and John-Thor Dahlburg in Paris; Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey; and Desmond O. Butler in Istanbul contributed.

Paris Shooting Suspects Under French Radar for YEARS

Image: Dead men don’t talk. French security agencies successfully liquidate
all suspects in the recent Paris shooting.

January 10, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – LD)

landdestroyer.blogspot.com

The Paris shooting suspects were no strangers to the French government and its security and intelligence agencies. One suspect, Cherif Kouachi, was arrested by French police in 2005, tried and sentenced to 3 years in prison for “association with wrongdoers with the intention of committing a terrorist act,” but his sentence would later be suspended.

Slate Magazine would report in their article, “The Details of Paris Suspect Cherif Kouachi’s 2008 Terrorism Conviction,” that:

Kouachi was arrested in January 2005, accused of planning to join jihadists in Iraq. He was said to have fallen under the sway of Farid Benyettou, a young “self-taught preacher” who advocated violence, but had not actually yet traveled to Iraq or committed any acts of terror. Lawyers at the time said he had not received weapons training and “had begun having second thoughts,” going so far as to express “relief” that he’d been apprehended.

Strange then that Kourachi and his brother would then be reported to have traveled to the Middle East to receive training from Al Qaeda, then to have fought in Syria in a war backed in part by France, before returning home and carrying out this most recent terror attack, all while being tracked by French intelligence. If Kouachi could be arrested for “association with wrongdoers with the intention of committing a terrorist act,” why wasn’t he arrested immediately upon his return to France for having received and employed military training by a terrorist organization?

CNN would report in an article titled, “France tells U.S. Paris suspect trained with al Qaeda in Yemen,” that:

Western intelligence officials are scrambling to learn more about possible travel of the two Paris terror attack suspects, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, with new information suggesting one of the brothers recently spent time in Yemen associating with al Qaeda in that country, U.S. officials briefed on the matter told CNN. Additional information from a French source close to the French security services puts one of the brothers in Syria.

 

To explain how terrorists well-known to France’s legal system and intelligence community could simply “disappear,” the Wall Street Journal in an article titled, “Overburdened French Dropped Surveillance of Brothers,” would attempt to claim:

The terror attacks in Paris that have killed 17 people over three days this week represent one of the worst fears—and failures—of counterterrorist officials: a successful plot coordinated by people who had once been under surveillance but who were later dropped as a top priority. 

The U.S. provided France with intelligence showing that the gunmen in the Charlie Hebdo massacre received training in Yemen in 2011, prompting French authorities to begin monitoring the two brothers, according to U.S. officials. But that surveillance of Said and Chérif Kouachi came to an end last spring, U.S. officials said, after several years of monitoring turned up nothing suspicious.

 

It is a narrative that begs to be believed – considering the brothers had already tangled with the law, already traveled to Yemen to receive training from Al Qaeda, and with evidence suggesting they were indeed still being tracked since it is now known they have recently returned from Syria. The Wall Street Journal would also claim that France depends heavily on US intelligence, contradicting US intelligence officials who have said their information came from their French counterparts.


France reportedly has over 1,000 citizens under surveillance who have recently traveled to Iraq and Syria, believed to have fought alongside terrorists France itself has been arming. In an NBC article titled, “French Intelligence Is Tracking 1,000 Who Have Been to Iraq, Syria: Expert,” it is reported that:

“French intelligence is mostly focused today on more than 1,000 French citizens that traveled to Syria and Iraq since 2012,” said Jean-Charles Brisard, the author of “Zarqawi: The New Face of Al-Qaeda.” 

He added that one-fifth of them were being tracked around the clock. “This is a problem of resources,” he added. “We cannot follow everyone.” 

Brisard said the brothers had been “well known to French intelligence [for] several years now.”

 

Image: France helped NATO successfully hand Libya over to Al Qaeda
terrorists who – with NATO support – would use it as a springboard to attack
Syria. The ultimate goal is to use Al Qaeda terrorists to overrun Iran, then
southern Russia and western China. 
It is almost certain that the suspects were not only being tracked by French and US intelligence, but selected as prime candidates for pulling off the provocative attack in Paris last week – as part of a greater agenda of manipulating public perception to further crush civil liberties at home and expand hegemonic wars overseas. France is already occupying several of its former colonies in Africa, had participated in the destruction of Libya and its subsequent handover to Al Qaeda terrorist, who with NATO backing, used it as a springboard to attack Syria.
In fact, it is now confirmed that France had provided weapons to terrorists fighting the Syrian government since 2011. France 24 would report last year in an article titled, “France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms,” that:

President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “a few months ago.”

It is likely that if the Paris shooters were indeed in Syria, they may likely have been holding French-supplied weapons as they honed their skills later to be used to spill French blood in Paris.

Three Possibilities – All Damning  
There are really only three possibilities left for France, NATO, and the greater Western World. First, the attacks were known to be impending and were willfully allowed to be carried out with an insidious agenda lined up to fully exploit the public hysteria to follow. Second, the attacks were prodded along by French, US, or other Western or Western-aligned intelligence agencies. Or third, the global spanning surveillance state the West is erecting with the promise of making the world safe at the expense of our freedom has left us both unsafe, and without our freedom.

Determining the degree to which this attack was influenced or engineered by Western intelligence agencies will be difficult to establish. However, considering that NATO itself has been exposed in the past to have used extremist groups to carry out deadly terrorist attacks almost identical to the recent Paris shooting, means that Western intelligence agencies should be prime suspects until otherwise ruled out.

The shooters were well known to Western intelligence, were part of a Western proxy war in Syria, were under surveillance, most likely handled before and perhaps even during the attack last week, and were all subsequently “liquidated,” just as was done amid a wave of NATO-sponsored  terror attacks against Western Europe during the Cold War, now known as “Operation Gladio.”

Al Qaeda is NATO’s Mercenary Foreign Legion 
Even if these attacks were organized by “Al Qaeda,” the fact still remains that Al Qaeda was intentionally selected, armed, funded, and to this day backed in nations like Syria by the West, including France, in an effort to overthrow Damascus by proxy.

As exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article,  “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” it was stated explicitly that (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda

Since 2007, it is clear that the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) and various franchises of Al Qaeda operating in Syria are harbored in NATO-member Turkey, with convoys originating from Turkish territory supplying terrorists operating in Syria with an unending torrent of supplies. So even as the US feigns to be striking at the source of ISIS power – allegedly seized Syrian oil fields – in reality, the US, along with its stalwart Persian Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar – are at the same time supplying this proxy terrorist army with billions in aid year to year – aid that is immune to US airstrikes.

NATO Extremism

Image: ISIS is supposedly an independent terror organization living off the
lands it has supposedly conquered. In reality, it is clear it is instead an
invasion originating from NATO-member Turkey, with the aid not of oil
money from seized Syrian fields, but rather cash and weapons supplied by
NATO and the Persian Gulf autocracies.

However one attempts to examine the recent Paris shooting – it is clear it is not an issue of “free speech,” “Islamic extremism,” or a need to show “tolerance,” but rather an issue involving NATO sponsorship of terrorism worldwide, and the complicity or failure of invasive surveillance networks and intelligence agencies that either helped carry out the operation, willfully allowed it to be carried out, or missed it entirely indicating unforgivable incompetence requiring punitive action against those occupying the highest offices in the French government.

Whatever the case may be, what follows will be a shameless attempt to exploit the hysteria prevailing across much of Europe. The most immediate threat is the West not backing off from its sponsorship of terrorists fighting the government of Syria, but the doubling down of the very policy that produced the killers involved in the Paris shooting. Indeed, even as Western politicians wring their hands over the loss of life in Paris this week, the Military Times would report, astoundingly, that the US is going ahead with a plan to train, arm, equip, and back a new “rebel army.” In an article titled, “Syria rebel training could start in early spring,” it states:

The long-awaited coalition program to train the Syrian moderate opposition could begin by early spring, and officials are beginning to identify individual fighters who could participate, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Apparently, despite so-called “moderate Syrian rebels” being revealed as simply Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda affiliates, with many literally turning their US, French, British and other NATO-supplied weapons over to terrorist groups, the US desires to send yet more weapons, cash, and training – in what one could only call a deliberate attempt to feign opposition to Al Qaeda while willfully expanding their ranks and armories, as well as both their tactical and strategic capabilities.

It is no wonder then, why the Western media has attempted to focus so diligently on “Islamic extremism” as the cause of the recent Paris shootings. Should the emotional raw nerves of the European people not be manipulated, and were people simply to follow the money, they would realize NATO extremism was to blame. They would also realize that the backlash in the wake of the Paris shooting was not to help stem such extremism, but to only embolden it further.

Genuine concerns about artificial intelligence

First posted December 3, 2014 7:08 pm

www.ft.com

The idea that computers will one day turn on man is not far-fetched

Since the dawn of civilisation, mankind has been obsessed by the possibility that it will one day be extinguished. The impact of an asteroid on earth and the spectre of nuclear holocaust are the most prevalent millenarian fears of our age. But some scientists are increasingly of the view that a new nightmare must be added to the list. Their concern is that intelligent computers will eventually develop minds of their own and destroy the human race.

The latest warning comes from Professor Stephen Hawking, the renowned astrophysicist. He told an interviewer this week that artificial intelligence could “outsmart us all” and that there is a “near certainty” of technological catastrophe. Most non-experts will dismiss his claims as a fantasy rooted in science fiction. But the pace of progress in artificial intelligence, or AI, means policy makers should already be considering the social consequences.

The idea that machines might one day be capable of thinking like people has been loosely discussed since the dawn of computing in the 1950s. The huge amount of cash being poured into AI research by US technology companies, together with the exponential growth in computer power, means startling predictions are now being made.

According to a recent survey, half the world’s AI experts believe human-level machine intelligence will be achieved by 2040 and 90 per cent say it will arrive by 2075. Several AI experts talk about the possibility that the human brain will eventually be “reverse engineered.” Some prominent tech leaders, meanwhile, warn that the consequences are unpredictable. Elon Musk, the pioneer of electric cars and private space flight at Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has argued that advanced computer technology is “potentially more dangerous than nukes”.

Western governments should be taking the ethical implications of the development of AI seriously. One concern is that nearly all the research being conducted in this field is privately undertaken by US-based technology companies. Google has made some of the most ambitious investments, ranging from its work on quantum computing through to its purchase this year of British AI start-up Deep Mind. But although Google set up an ethics panel following the Deep Mind acquisition, outsiders have no idea what the company is doing – nor how much resource goes into controlling the technology rather than developing it as fast as possible. As these technologies develop, lack of public oversight may become a concern.

That said, the risk that computers might one day pose a challenge to humanity should be put in perspective. Scientists may not be able to say with certainty when, or if, machines will match or outperform mankind…

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