Bill Joy - 138: predicted something like extinction of the...

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138: predicted “something like extinction” of the human race within the next generation. Most extraordinarily, he blamed it on the accelerating pace of technological change he had helped create. Found advancing technology poses a threat to the human species. “I have always believed that making software more reliable, given its many uses, will make the world a safer and better place.” 139: “ I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of the further perfection of extreme evil.” Reviewed the prospects for the genetic, robotic, information and nano technologies and was aghast. Genetic technology makes possible the creation of “white plagues” designed to kill widely but selectively—attacking only people of a targeted race, for example. It also holds out the possibility of engineering our evolution into “several separate and unequal species… that would threaten the notion of equality that is the very cornerstone of our democracy.” “A robotic existence would not be like a human one in any sense that we understand.” “The robots would in no sense be our children… on this path our humanity may well be lost.” “Gray goo would surely be a depressing ending to our human adventure on Earth, far worse that mere fire or ice, and one that could stem from a simple laboratory accident. Oops.” “Most dangerously, for the first time, these accidents and abuses are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups.” “Knowledge alone will enable the use of them.” “weapons of knowledge-enabled mass destruction.” GRIN: “power of self-replication.” These horrors could make more and more of themselves. 140 : “The only realistic alternative I see is relinquishment to limit development of the technologies that are too dangerous, by limiting our pursuit of certain kinds of knowledge.” “There is nothing optional about this, you see.” “It’s like death and taxes. We have this problem. It will get us.” 142: he insists he has always had a strong belief in the value of the scientific search for
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This note was uploaded on 01/29/2011 for the course HIST 1060 taught by Professor Charlottedecoster during the Spring '08 term at North Texas.

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Bill Joy - 138: predicted something like extinction of the...

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