Oxford University philosophers Julian Savulescu and Ingmar Persson worry that enabling people to become smarter via drugs, implants, and other biological (or genetic) interventions will speed up scientific and technological progress which in turn will increase the ability of smart evil people to make and deploy novel weapons of mass destruction.
The issue of advancing technology and the possibility of more powerful and dangerous weapons that can be developed and controlled by smaller groups of people has been discussed for decades.
The Oxford guys biggest fear is biological weapons.
They fear –
Genetic engineering of small pox could create a new strain which would wipe out all or most of humanity.
However, this is not a trend or technical development that would be greatly effected by near term cognitive enhancement.
Enhancement of intelligence with drugs or mind computer interfaces will have a limited impact on innovation and intellectual productivity.
Reason’s Ronald Bailey makes the case that technological and economic progress has reduced murders and violent deaths
The weapons of mass destruction have basically existed for decades. World war I had chemical and biological weapons. It does not take a greater than current human intelligence to repeat what was done with smaller groups.
What we need to do is to accelerate the development and remove regulatory impediments to new more universal vaccines and other immune system enhancements.
Improved space propulsion and launch systems and enhancement of systems like Bigelow Aerospace’s inflatable space stations could enable within two to five decades significant space colonization.
Those developments and more like them will increase the robustness of individuals and society.
If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on ycombinator or StumbleUpon. Thanks
Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com
, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
He fundraises for various high impact technology companies and has worked in computer technology, insurance, healthcare and with corporate finance.
He has substantial familiarity with a broad range of breakthrough technologies like age reversal and antiaging, quantum computers, artificial intelligence, ocean tech, agtech, nuclear fission, advanced nuclear fission, space propulsion, satellites, imaging, molecular nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, blockchain, crypto and many other areas.