Anthropic Shadow: Observation Selection Effects and Human Extinction Risks

  title={Anthropic Shadow: Observation Selection Effects and Human Extinction Risks},
  author={Milan M. Cirkovic and Anders Sandberg and Nick Bostrom},
  journal={Risk Analysis},
We describe a significant practical consequence of taking anthropic biases into account in deriving predictions for rare stochastic catastrophic events. The risks associated with catastrophes such as asteroidal/cometary impacts, supervolcanic episodes, and explosions of supernovae/gamma‐ray bursts are based on their observed frequencies. As a result, the frequencies of catastrophes that destroy or are otherwise incompatible with the existence of observers are systematically underestimated. We… 
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