... thinking about artificial intelligence. Climate change, social change, technological change in everything else (including having teenage semi-whizzes be able to program recombinant DNA) is stuff we can handle. It is stuff we have seen. It poses problems that we can fix without winding up eating Soylent Green.
But artificial intelligence? Damn. Weak AI wrecks the labor market and catapults us into an era of income inequality unseen since the industrial revolution, with no easy way out. Strong AI wrecks what it means to be human, unless we all merge with it, in which case ... it wrecks what it means to be human, albeit with a chance at it turning out better, maybe kinda.
Prompt for musing can be found here, where the American Prospect interviews James Barrat, author of Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era. Read it and hope that Koomey’s Law runs out of steam real soon. Or that Charlie Stross is correct, and the only way to get an intelligent robot is to grow and raise it.