Humans have been on Earth for hundreds of thousands of years. So far so good, right? Well, according to famed physicist Stephen Hawking, things around here are about to get ugly for us. It’s time to start poking around the neighborhood for a better place to call home. And by place, we mean planet.
Hawking raised concerns for human life on Earth during a speech at the Oxford Union on November 15, 2016, essentially giving the human race an expiration date. “We must … continue to go into space for the future of humanity. I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet,” the 74-year-old physicist said. He believes that humans won’t last another 1,000 years on our “fragile planet,” and we need to find a new habitable planet to call home before humans are wiped out for good. If we don’t make it off Earth in that timeframe, Hawking believes humanity will be at great risk of encountering a mass extinction. Though the chance of a huge, natural, catastrophic event in any given year is low, that chance will increase over time and may eventually lead to humanity getting wiped out just like the dinosaurs did. If a natural mass extinction doesn’t do it, Hawking thinks humanity will burn through natural resources so quickly that life on Earth will no longer be sustainable. Lastly, if neither of those things do it, maybe the robots will. Hawking is vocal about the threat of full artificial intelligence, and thinks that if AI becomes sophisticated enough it will redesign itself faster than humans can. Down the line, this could spell the end for the human race. Get more information about the future of space travel and mass extinction in the videos below.