Leverage Factor

Calculations on this page were done using the uncertain.py Python script, in order to tighten up otherwise very broad ranges.

(existential threat probability) = (chance of advanced nanotechnology 50 years out) x (chance accessible to non-state actors) x (chance technology misused) = 50-80% x 50-80% x 100% = 29-56%

Prevent by having centralized carefully controlled labs. Guess controls will reduce the threat by 50-90%. Guestimate cost of enforcing is roughly similar to the cost of nuclear non-proliferation.

Current nuclear non-proliferation programs cost $3b-6b/year (Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems, Bjorn Lomborg, 2007, pp. 209).

Project Cost Real world outcome Outcome estimates Economic value in Western terms
Prevent nanoplague $3b-6b/year 50-90% chance of eliminating 29-56% chance of an existential threat 50 years out Save 50-90% x 29-56% x 7b DALYs/year; should really discount 7b world population for 50 years $110t-260t

Leverage Factor

25,000 - 70,000