Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Martin Rees on our posthuman future—and avoiding catastophe

Thomas McCabe, writing for Kurzweil AI, recently reported on Sir Martin Rees's address to the Long Now Foundation. McCabe notes,
Over the truly long term, our posthuman descendants will become — not just second-generation intelligences — but thousand-generation or million-generation intelligences. He quoted Darwin on how no species can pass its likeness into the distant future unaltered; in a billion years of biological evolution, we’ve gone from bugs to humans, and technological evolution is a lot faster than biological. Our distant descendants will be not just strange, but completely alien to us.
According to Rees, we not only have unprecedented opportunity, but unprecedented responsibility. If the new technologies we build have a high chance of causing civilization-wide catastrophe for the first time in history, we are responsible for actively preventing that from happening, not just trying to predict it or understand it.


No comments:

Post a Comment