An existential risk factor is a factor causally associated with an increased probability of an existential catastrophe. Conversely, an existential security factor is a factor causally associated with a reduced probability of an existential catastrophe (Ord 2020: 182). Analogous concepts have been used to analyse risks of human extinction (Cotton-Barratt, Daniel & Sandberg 2020) and s-risks (Baumann 2019).
Baumann, Tobias (2019) Risk factors for s-risks, Center for Reducing Suffering, February 13.
Cotton-Barratt, Owen, Max Daniel & Anders Sandberg (2020) Defence in depth against human extinction: prevention, response, resilience, and why they all matter, Global Policy, vol. 11, pp. 271–282.
Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, London: Bloomsbury Publishing.